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Scrap Metal Thefts Down In Wiregrass

By: Deanna Bettineschi Email
By: Deanna Bettineschi Email

Just last year scrap metal thefts seemed to be a big issue, but with tougher laws and even more coming, officers believe those kinds of thefts will go down.
Scrap metal laws that were put into effect last august, may have been more paperwork for recycling companies, but its proven to be an even more of a hassle for thieves.

“We haven't been getting as many calls about stolen material really.“ Steel vice president Samuel Emfinger said.

Local steel company vice-president Samuel Emfinger says the new laws make it illegal for metal recycling companies to accept burned copper.
And if you brought in metal or copper from an a-c unit, you had to show credentials.
Plus they had to follow stricter regulations.

Included getting sellers current I-D, taking a picture of the person selling the metal, getting their license plate number, and taking a picture of all items a seller brings in.

“Having everything like that on file and knowing when they come in they’ll have to get these pictures taken is kind of a deterrent against stolen property.” Emfinger said.

And he hopes a new law going into effect February first will deter thieves even more.

“We have to submit information on all of the transactions in that day. We upload them to a database in Montgomery on the end of business each day.” Emfinger said.

This gives law enforcement access to all scrap metal transactions in the state of Alabama

“They can log into the database in Montgomery and see pictures of everyone selling scrap and the material. And if they are looking for someone in particular they have access to everything without ever having to go in the yard.” Steel vice president Samuel Emfinger said.

Dothan police department Sgt. Rachel David says cooperation between agencies, helps to prevent metal thefts.
“Anything that law enforcement and local businesses can do to partner together and act as a deterrent is always the best. We don’t prefer to solve crime we prefer to deter it.”

Emfinger says there shouldn’t be any change in business with this new law, mostly there will just be more paperwork for companies.


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