(THE COURIER / Joshua Mashon)

March 3, 2015 Posted by admin

(THE COURIER / Joshua Mashon)

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A few innovative pieces of technology in the Arkansas River Valley have been a step in halting the theft of scrap metal.

Several local recycling businesses, such as River Valley Recycling, Pearson Recycling and Cunningham Metals, use fingerprint technology to process customers in an effort to halt theft.

Although customer information is required to be recorded by law, these businesses are going a step further to deter the money-making scheme, such as the nearly 15 airconditioning coil thefts in the city of Russellville this past June.

Russellville Police Department Public Information Officer Drew Latch said the technology has helped prevent theft in the area.

“They are great partners with us anytime we need that information for theft on the scrap that was turned in,” Latch said.

“This is a great prevention tool for scrap metal theft.”

Pope County Sheriff Shane Jones said the enforcement of such technology has aided in the process of catching thieves.

“It’s a great tool for law enforcement,” Jones said. “All of the scrap yards are required by law to get proper identification and photograph the item and individual.”

Scrap metal is defined as pieces of metal parts that may be combined together with bolts or soldering and can be recycled when worn or superfluous, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).

With the price of scrap metal continuing to rise, Jones said the technology, aided with community awareness, combats the popular crime.

“With the price of metal being high, unfortunately there will be thefts,” Jones said. “With the assistance of our citizens and the scrap metal business, we are able to counteract some of the criminal activity.”

The price per pound for aluminum radiators was reported at $1.45 in late January, according to Scrap Monster.

Brass scrap metal was listed as high as $2.46 per pound, while copper scrap metal was listed as high as $2.54 per pound.

For computer parts, processors weighed in at $26 per pound, while memory chips were valued at $10 per pound.

Scrap gold was valued up to $1,083 per ounce, and silver scrap metal was valued at $13.84 per ounce.

A recycling business must file a daily electronic report of scrap metal purchases, which must be entered into an automated database to be accessed by law enforcement, according to the Arkansas scrap metal statute outlined by the ISRI.

Furthermore, the database must send a report every seven days to the county sheriff and to any law enforcement agency that request periodic copies, as amended to the law in 2013.

Not only is committing the theft of scrap metal a crime, a person who aids or is an accomplice of the theft of property involving scrap metal is subject to the same penalties.

A person convicted of theft of scrap metal is prohibited from selling scrap metal after his conviction, and violations are subject to penalties up to $1,000 per violation.

Not only is the person who tries to sell stolen scrap metal subject to the law, the business who buys the scrap metal is at risk as well.

Theft by receiving of scrap metal can be committed if the person receives, retains, purchases or disposes of scrap metal if he knows or should have known the scrap metal was stolen.

Article source: http://www.couriernews.com/view/full_story/26497931/article-Implementing-technology-to-deter-metal-thefts?instance=home_special

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