Senate moving to make copper theft a federal crime

**FILE** Police in Chandler, Ariz., respond to a report of copper theft from a shopping plaza roof on Jan. 18, 2012. (Associated Press)Washington Times – by Stephen Dinan

The Senate is moving to make metal theft a federal crime, with the Judiciary Committee poised to take action later this week on a bill that would impose a 10-year prison sentence on anyone caught stealing metal from telephone or cell towers, highway equipment or other critical infrastructure. Copper theft is a particular problem, with the average annual price on global markets quadrupling over the past decade.  

The bill would also make it tougher to fence stolen metal by requiring more record-keeping for recycling agents, and prohibiting them from paying cash for purchases larger than $100.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, the Minnesota Democrat who wrote the bill, said metal theft has jumped more than 80 percent in recent years, and people have stolen from homes, churches and even brass stars from veterans’ graves in her home state.

“The recent rise in incidents of metal theft across the country underscores the importance of federal action to crack down on metal thieves, put them behind bars and make it more difficult for them to sell their stolen goods,” she said in a statement earlier this year, after she introduced the bill.

The National Crime Insurance Bureau put the increase in theft at 36 percent from 2010 through 2012, as compared to the prior three years. That’s less than the 80 percent Ms. Klobuchar cited, but it still means 33,775 claims for theft, according to the Insurance Journal.

Copper is the biggest draw, accounting for 96 percent of those filed claims, the journal reported. The metal is at record prices.

When adjusted for population, Rhode Island has the highest rate of theft of any state, while Alaska has the lowest.

The Insurance Journal said metal theft costs U.S. businesses about $1 billion a year.

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15 thoughts on “Senate moving to make copper theft a federal crime

  1. This one stinks
    Probably would impose sentance on those who posess us coinage (fed)
    When they force you to return it for dollar value
    Also allows them to tax the scrappers who are trying to feed their families cause there is no work to br had

  2. In most states, tampering with a public utility; in the case of stealing copper wires or metals, is already a felony. Why do we need another law?.

    1. They need a new law (which seems to cover “metal theft” and not just “copper theft”) so they can seize copper coins, or other alternative currency as possible evidence in the disappearance of wires or whatever that allegedly vanished.

      You have to look for a tyrannical angle to any new laws, because they’re obviously not concerned with crime.

      1. Yep! Right you are JR. They think of any weasely way to get their hands around we the people. It’s called making a law for your purposes before you need to put it in effect. They need to confiscate our metals and so they make a law banning metals and put it legally (even if it sounds insane) into effect.

  3. Any good tory should be aware that without license it should be improper for a mere commoner to catch the king’s fish or tamper with his copper.It is for such reasons that FDR relieved us of the evils of our gold back in ’33.

  4. Furthermore the value of precious metals remains virtually constant while the price rises due to the decreasing value of fiat currencies created by the same institutions who so self -righteously label you as a thief.For government to find dangerous thieving terrorists is a simple matter of finding the nearest mirror.

  5. Obviously someone is running a contest in DC to see who can write the most obnoxious legislation and be the biggest dick!

    1. Yep! That’s the way it seems to be these days. All laws made for the foreign government and all laws made for taking away the rights of the people. That’s how it goes in the District of Criminals (D.C.)

  6. And how long before derivatives of copper…like used brass casings from firing ranges…leads to heavy penalties under this law? Whatever the reason it is more than just copper.

  7. If the democrats aren’t careful they’ll have all of their new voter base locked up for ten years.Only ones around here stealing copper are illegals.Maybe not such a bad law afterall.

    1. Haha! Except the illegals won’t get fined or arrested. They will get a slap on the wrist because they were helpless and just helping their families and trying to do what they couldn’t do in their own country and it would be too much money to deport them and if you put them in prison, you would be taking them away from their illegal family again.

      I mean after all, according to John McCain during his Arizona council meeting for border protection and buiding a fence, “We are a Christian nation. We are better than that.” That guy is such a joke.

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