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December 2006

Scrap industry recommends practices to fight metals theft

Scrap dealers across the country face the daily task of determining if a customer is trying to peddle stolen material or if the transaction, like most, involves legitimate scrap. The scrap industry has now issued a list of recommended practices to share with scrap dealers to decrease their chances of accepting stolen metals.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries' (ISRI) Scrap Theft Task Force details the recommendations in a document titled, "Recommended Practices and Procedures for Minimizing the Risks of Purchasing Stolen Scrap Materials." The ISRI board approved the recommendations at its recent fall meeting in Charleston, South Carolina.

"These recommendations show the commitment from scrap dealers to do their part to solve the scrap theft problem," said Shelley Padnos, vice president of Louis Padnos Iron & Metal Co. in Holland, Michigan, who chairs the theft task force. "The recommendations also reflect that what works in some yards may not work in others."

Scrap dealers already employ a variety of methods to keep from accepting stolen materials at their yards. The recommendations serve to enhance these existing procedures. They are also intended to allow scrap dealers to adopt the practices that are most appropriate for their facility and have the greatest likelihood of having a positive effect. The recommendations include:

  • Build working relationships with local law enforcement.
  • Get identification from the seller.
  • Make payment by methods other than cash.
  • Capture transactions on video surveillance.
  • Prohibit certain items such as new production material or items used only by governments and utility companies.
  • Train employees to identify suspicious materials.

The recommended practices can be found at www.isri.org/TheftPractices.


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