Bill to prevent recyclable metal thefts passes state House

Online Staff Report

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — House Bill 3825, designed to tighten regulations and penalties regarding recyclable metal purchases, passed the Illinois House earlier this week. The bill is co-sponsored by state Rep. Joe Sosnowski, R-Rockford/Belvidere.

H.B. 3825 would create the “Theft of recyclable metal” offense, which includes more severe penalties for theft of certain recyclable metal property and includes the resulting property damage in the calculation of the penalty.

We must make changes to stop criminals from stealing recycled metals,” Sosnowski said. “It is important to reduce theft of recyclable metals and by requiring documentation at the time of sale.”

The bill is in response to an increasing number of thefts throughout the state as the price of copper and other recyclable metals has risen.

The legislation would make it more difficult to sell stolen metal by strengthening record-keeping requirements and creating tougher criminal penalties to deter thefts.

Dick Behr, owner of Behr Iron and Metal in Rockford, said, “Our employees are taught and trained to recognize stolen metals.”

According to Behr, his 10 nationwide scrapyards have been documenting every purchase long before the law came into effect.

If materials look suspicious, we call the police at the time, or hold it until we can identify it,” Behr said.

The bill is now being sent to the state Senate for consideration.

Posted March 28, 2012

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