Growing problem of wire and scrap metal theft addressed with new regulations.
A bill aimed at making it more difficult for scrap metal
thieves to make a quick buck has passed the California Assembly, complete with
the support of our Senator Sharon Runner and Assemblyman Cameron Smyth.
AB 844 will disrupt the pattern of payment by requiring
recyclers to require photo id and a thumbprint from customers, a photograph of
the items turned in and a three-day hold on payment.
In addition, the bill provides for restitution for materials
stolen as well as for any collateral damage caused during any theft by anyone
convicted of metal theft.
“AB 844 will provide a strong deterrent to those seeking a
quick cash fix. This crime has wreaked havoc on all areas of our state. No one
has been spared from these criminals who strip wires from utilities, vandalize
fire hydrants, steal manhole covers, destroy agricultural equipment, remove
guardrails – the list goes on and on,” said Assemblyman Tom Berryhill, one of
the bill’s sponsors.
Supporters also include a wide spectrum of municipal
agencies, including the California State Firefighters Association, California
Sheriff’s Association, California Farm Bureau, SEMPRA, San Diego Gas and
Electric, Southern California Edison, the League of California Cities and the Institute
of Scrap Recycling Industries.
The bill now moves to the Assembly floor for a concurrence