PITTSBURGH Baltimore County in
Maryland has created a scrap-metals theft task force, a move
which it said was unprecedented in the state.
"This is first task force of its
kind in the state of Maryland," Baltimore County Police Chief
James W. Johnson said in a televised interview discussing the
new effort to target metal thieves.
The team will operate as part of
the county police property crimes division and include a
corporal and four detectives.
In addition to analyzing daily
incident reports to detect metals-theft trends, members of the
task force will monitor regional developments, network with
other agencies, develop relationships with scrap companies and
teach property owners how to protect themselves.
Johnson noted that the number of metals-theft reports filed
has tripled since 2009, while copper theft rates have shot up
by 450 percent. A local utility company is now painting its
copper wire green so local scrapyards can easily identify