Oregon House passes new metal theft legislation

The Oregon House of Representatives unanimously passed legislation to combat metal theft, completing a three-year process and a bipartisan effort to stem the growth in metal theft. SB 570 imposes new fines and penalties on metal thieves and improves the ability of the state’s law enforcement community to monitor transactions.

State Rep. Brent Barton (D-Clackamas) and State Rep. Andy Olson (R-Albany) were the House participants in a bicameral work group that came up with the final agreement.

“Metal theft affects both rural and urban communities and fuels the meth epidemic in Oregon,” said Barton.

SB 570 contains several main components that will end the ease with which metal thieves are able to trade stolen products for cash, including:

  • Clarifying the duties of scrap metal businesses to notify law enforcement if they believe that the metal property they purchased or received is stolen.
  • Requiring scrap metal businesses to collect and retain for one year a metal property record from individuals and companies that engage in the selling of metal products.
  • Creating misdemeanor crime for unlawfully altering metal property, for example obliterating a serial number.
  • Requiring that payment for scrap metal is given no sooner than three business days after sale and delivered by a mailed check to the seller’s street address.

The bill is now being reviewed by the Senate.