Whether it is the theft of railroad spikes and rails or copper communication lines, scrap metal thefts are showing to be a significant threat to Ohio’s infrastructure.
"These types of thefts can create disruptions in communication services and dangers to the public. It can also create a significant financial burden to property owners," according to a press release from the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) and Ohio Homeland Security.
These organizations recently supported Senate Bill 193 which creates a mandatory online registry for scrap metal and bulk merchandise container dealers in Ohio.
The online registry, which must be completed by Jan. 1, aims to create an infrastructure within the industry to crack down on scrap theft, which should then protect Ohio’s infrastructure by focusing on the end point - the dealers and recycling facilities.
The Stow Police Department receives reports consistently about stolen scrap metal.
Just recently on Oct. 22, a 71-year-old Kent resident said scrap metal from his barn area on Middlebury Road in Stow was stolen. Police estimate about $75 in metal was taken.
Theft against the elderly, in this situation, is a fifth-degree felony.
The bill also defines and establishes criminal penalties for purchasing, selling or receiving a special purchase article. By 2014, dealers are required to report transactions through an electronic reporting system maintained by ODPS.
In addition, ODPS will maintain a “Do Not Buy From” list for use by law enforcement agencies and dealers. The list contains the names of known scrap thieves in the area.
For more information, refer to the .pdf attached to this post.