Richmond Considers Measure To Stop Copper Thieves

Copper theft is a common crime in Kentucky, but while the thieves do get some money out of it, the thefts can cause thousands of dollars in damage.

Now, the city of Richmond is considering an ordinance aimed at the people who buy the stolen metal.

Construction crews around Richmond say anything to slow down copper theft will be appreciated.

The ordinance spells out exactly what kind of records scrap metal dealers would be required to keep or face penalties.

"They shouldn't profit from stealing, so this is just a proactive way the city can try to eliminate this as much as possible," said city manager David Evans.

"They could be fined up to $250 or they could lose their city business license," he said. "The police department came up here and approached us first and we tried to put together an ordinance."

It's not just copper thefts the city is trying to curtail. Thieves are routinely stealing catalytic converters from beneath vehicles and taking them straight to the scrap metal dealers.

"We tried to make it pretty inclusive of all the scrap metals that people are selling to make money from when they steal all of these items," Evans said.

Evans says he thinks scrap metal dealers should welcome this ordinance because it'll protect them because they would be required to write down the name of the person selling copper.

There's also a bill pending in Frankfort, House Bill 106, dealing with the same problem.

The ordinance gets its first reading in city commission chambers next Tuesday.


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  • by Wow Location: RIchmond on Feb 11, 2008 at 11:28 AM
    @Tony Location: Lexington Now thats an idea! After all a decade back a couple kids stole a stop sign some where in the US and when people died because it wasnt there they were charged with murder. DO we not charge people that run from the cops with wanton endangerment?
  • by Tony Location: Lexington on Feb 10, 2008 at 06:48 PM
    it's not just the money. if they manage to steal copper from electric substations without killing themselves, they risk the lives of the utility workers. maybe they should be charged with attempted murder when they get caught.
  • by donny Location: ky on Feb 9, 2008 at 10:38 PM
    only way i no to stop them is to feel there butt with buckshots. or put up cameras then that would cost to much to do .. not much u can to tell u catch them. then they get a little fine then back doing it again.
  • by Wow Location: RIchmond on Feb 9, 2008 at 06:26 AM
    Ok so its gonna hurt the honest businesses meanwhile the theives steal even more copper to sell 2nd hand through friends or people they know at the scrap yard. Heres a way of stopping copper thefts.... Crank up the amps to about 2000 and let the punks grab the wire. Problem solved. This has actually been a problem in poor parts of the world for decades its just recently that its caught on as a way to fuel drugs habits or make rent in US. Kinda like pallet thieves 1 shows 5 more and they all start doing it on their own then show 5 more. Either way as long as it doenst interfere with my recycling soda cans I dont care.
  • by Shoot First on Feb 8, 2008 at 08:29 PM
    and ask questions later....nuff said!
  • by Chris Location: SE KY on Feb 8, 2008 at 05:46 PM
    Duh? State law already requires scrap metal dealers to record the names of persons selling copper, along with a lot of other information. Aren't they already doing this? They are also required to report all copper transactions within 24 hours to the sheriff or police. The statute is KRS365.250. Catalytic converters are a different story.

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