Government
1:25 am
Thu February 2, 2012

Council Committee Toughens Copper Theft Law

The Kansas City city council is preparing to toughen up the restrictions on sale of scrap metal to dealers who resell it. 

News reports often tell of thieves targeting air conditioners, water pipes in vacant houses or automobile catalytic converters . Parks Superintendent Forest Decker also says metal theft has cost his department more than $800,000 since 2007 -- most often copper wire, but including bronze plaques, fixtures from fountains and stainless steel gratings.

An AT&T representative said the main phone line into one subdivision was stolen six times last year.

The council committee endorses requiring more proof of ownership for people who try to sell things like communications wire, HVAC components, aluminum bleacher parts and cat converters.  The ordinance advanced also forbids dealers from buying from sellers who bring the metals in in shopping carts to circumvent the requirement that records of their car license numbers must be kept.

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