CLEVELAND : The police department records indicate that the incidents of metal thefts have more than tripled during the first quarter of the year when compared to same quarter the previous year. According to data obtained from the Zanesville Police Department (ZPD) Detective Bureau, there were 11 reported incidents of metal thefts during the first three months of 2012. The number of reported metal theft incidents during same period this year is 35.
Most of the metal theft incidents were reported in residential properties involving theft of scrap copper wires from heating and cooling units. It was only recently that an air conditioner unit was lifted from the Adult Center for Education at the Moxahala Avenue. The police say, the thieves are targeting condemned and vacant houses as there is a less chance of resistance and greater chance of being unnoticed. The stolen items are being sold to underground scrap dealers for cash. These illegally operating scrap dealers do not insist for the photo ID or any other proofs as directed by the law.
The Ohio administration is tightening rules to curb the illegal scrap trade. It is devising a new set of regulations which require the scrap metal dealers to compulsorily report all retail transactions through electronic system with effect from 2014 onwards.
This is in addition to the existing regulations which require scrap dealers to maintain a copy of the seller’s proof of identity and photograph, details of the material, license plate number of the vehicle used for transporting the scrap material and a detailed receipt of each transaction. The scrap yards also keep updating a no-buy list which lists out the persons who have been convicted before for bringing in stolen property.