Copper Prices and Thievery High, Legislators Plot Ways to Curb Thieves’ Sales


The price of copper remains at near historic highs and that means so does the amount of copper getting stolen, NPR reports. Everything from telephone wire to plumbing is a target, and lawmakers in nearly half the states are considering legislation aimed at making it harder for thieves to sell stolen copper. Since January, 49 bills have been introduced in 23 states. Many of them involve tracking the sale of used copper. In Ohio, one bill would prohibit scrap dealers from buying copper plumbing pipe from anyone other than a plumber. Many of the bills would make scrap dealers take pictures of copper items and document them. Others would impose a waiting period before dealers could sell the copper. Last month, Virginia passed a law that requires scrap dealers to keep photos of metal they purchase on hand for at least a month. In Congress, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Mn.) is proposing legislation that would make stealing copper in some cases a federal crime and would increase regulations on buying and selling it.

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