AAEQ responds to rules concerning metal thefts
Soaring copper prices have made metal a prime target
of local thieves. The issue has created a perplexing
problem for recyclers like AAEQ Manufacturers and Recyclers
in North Las Vegas, who are committed to weeding out
legitimate sellers from criminals that indiscriminately
steal materials—ranging from copper wiring and plumbing
from residences and commercial buildings to basic infrastructure
such as manhole covers and sewer grates.
In light of a police raid in August at a large-scale
Las Vegas-area recycling operation, AAEQ president and
CEO, Scott Stolberg, says his company remains committed
to working with law enforcement officials to help solve
this community-wide problem.
AAEQ recently invested in a new, $100,000 point-of-purchase
system called Scrap Dragon that videotapes transactions,
takes scanned fingerprints and gives separate IDs to
each scrap seller. After a completed transaction, sellers
receive a coupon which can be redeemed at an on-premise
ATM, which also captures their image.
The new program is scheduled to be operational in September
of this year.
“Our goal is to help law enforcement prosecute people
that are stealing metal and then trying to sell it as
recyclable scrap,” said Stolberg.
Las Vegas-area officials are considering legislation
to make it more difficult for scrap metal buyers and
sellers to profit from the thievery. The plan is to loosely
model Nevada’s scrap-buying regulations after strict
laws enacted in Arizona last year.
AAEQ is a member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling
Industries, Inc. (ISRI), an organization that works hard
to combat metal theft and works with government agencies
to craft reasonable regulations that will help keep recyclers
in business while cracking down on illegal sales.
While Stolberg is in favor of good regulations, he said
some of the ideas being tossed around by Las Vegas officials
would virtually put legitimate recyclers like AAEQ out
Stolberg encourages legislators and law enforcement officials
to bring recyclers to the table when proposing legislation.
This would allow the recyclers to have a voice in the
process. Stolberg also encourages them to look at work
previously completed by ISRI that tries to balance the
interests of all parties.
ISRI has developed “Recommended Practices and Procedures
for Minimizing the Risks of Purchasing Stolen Scrap Materials,”
that recyclers can employ at their facilities to minimize
the risk of unintentionally purchasing stolen materials.
AAEQ has adopted these guidelines in its operations.