Rochester, N.Y. – The thefts of copper and metal are a “scourge” on the community and Senator Charles Schumer wants to make it a federal crime.
Schumer’s proposal would make metal thefts a felony. Payments from junkyards over $100 would have to be made by check. Sellers would have to prove they own the material.
The regulations are similar to those already on the books in Rochester. The city requires scrap dealers to keep electronic records and pay by check.
“It’s like drugs. With strong federal enforcement, you can go after the bad guys who are often on the move across city and county lines,” said Schumer.
Metal thefts can cause thousands of dollars in damage and endanger lives. This summer a man was crushed to death while scavenging for scrap at a construction site in Rochester. Last week, fire officials suspect a house explosion was caused by a metal thief who snipped a gas line.