Metal Theft Bills Aim at Deterring Crime

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, July 7, 2008
Skyrocketing prices for copper and aluminum have brought about a rise in thefts… Democratic State Senator Ron Calderon says it’s a statewide problem. “Every place from the home to large construction sites and energy facilities are being affected by this metal theft. It starts with copper wire and ends up with manhole covers and fire hydrant covers…” Calderon and Republican Assemblyman Tom Berryhill have bills that will require people selling scrap metal to wait three days to receive payment. They’ll also have to show I.D. and leave a thumbprint. Tiffany Mok with the A.C.L.U. says the thumbprint requirement is an invasion of privacy. “It’s problematic because there’s nothing stopping businesses from asking for almost all biometric data." There’s been some controversy over the effect of the bills on local metal theft regulations. A spokesman for Calderon says that’s been worked out to allow local governments to set specific rules.