American Recycler News, Inc.

 

California scrap metal theft bill vetoed by Governor

California Governor Jerry Brown has recognized the need for more enforcement of the state’s current metals theft laws before additional laws that could harm the industry are added to the books.

While vetoing California Assembly Bill 841, Governor Brown issued the following statement, “The theft of nonferrous metals has reached epidemic proportions not only in California, but across the U.S. In an effort to combat this problem, I signed four bills last year to prevent more theft. Existing law requires that a seller wait three days before receiving payment for metal materials, a written record of the transaction, the name, driver’s license number, license plate number, thumbprint of the seller, and a photograph or video of the seller and the material being sold. How much more do you need? What’s really missing today is robust enforcement of our laws.”

The legislation would have required scrap dealers to only make payments for metals via check through the mail, severely hampering the ability to conduct legitimate business. Governor Brown’s refusal to sign the bill followed a similar response by Governor Chris Christie to metals theft legislation in New Jersey.

“Governor Brown correctly pointed out that the problem is not a lack of metals theft laws, but a lack of enforcement,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “Scrap recyclers across the country are working on a daily basis with law enforcement, prosecutors and legislators on ways to reduce thefts. We will continue our efforts to curb these thefts that are harming communities.”

ISRI believes the most effective way to address the problem is through a comprehensive strategy focusing first on efforts to prevent metals theft and second on assisting law enforcement and prosecutors in their efforts to catch, prosecute, and penalize those who perpetrate these crimes.

Among the many ways the recycling industry and law enforcement are working together is through the use of ScrapTheftAlert.com, a free tool that provides law enforcement with an outlet to alert the scrap industry of significant thefts of materials in the U.S. and Canada. Upon validation and review, alerts are broadcast by email to all subscribed users within a 100 mile radius of where the incident occurred.