Stiffer federal penalties said needed to fight copper theft

Apr 26, 2013 | 12:56 PM | Andrea Hotter

Tags  copper theft, federal penalties, metals losses, American Copper Council, ISRI, CargoNet, William Johnson, Keith Lewis Scott Cornell

WASHINGTON — Tougher federal penalties are needed to really make a difference in the fight against copper theft, those involved in tracking and investigating metals losses said.

Federal legislation targeting copper theft exists, but it differs between states. A harsher federal penalty would act as a deterrent to criminals and make prosecution more attractive to law enforcers, attendees of the American Copper Council’s meeting in Washington were told April 25.

"If there are real penalties, it sends a message back to the street that copper theft isn’t as easy as it used to be," according to William "Billy" Johnson, director of political and public affairs at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington.....

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