NEW YORK Scrap dealers in Green Bay, Wis., may soon be required to maintain an electronic information database documenting scrap transactions, the result of an effort by the citys police department to curb theft and track potential sellers of stolen goods to dealers.
Some dealers are apprehensive about the plan, initiated by the Green Bay Police Department, which could come into effect as early as next month. The city already maintains similar databases for pawn shops and secondhand dealers as a means to combat trading of stolen goods, and now wants scrap dealers to do the same.
"Dealers have to enter certain fields relating to the transaction," Green Bay assistant city attorney Jim Mueller told AMM. "It was initiated by the police department, but were putting the responsibility on dealers."
One scrap dealer said the measure seemed unnecessary, since authorities already inform many dealers of local property thefts. "You get e-mails, you get updates. We already know whats stolen and whats not," he said.
But police said that the database, which will be accessible online and come at no cost to scrap dealers, will save dealers the loss sustained when stolen scrap is confiscated. "They were apprehensive at first," Green Bay police Lt. John Rousseau said. "But the dealers dont want to take stolen things either. Over time, theyve come to realize that its helping them as well."
Rousseau said most of eastern Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, implements some variation of the database to document property transactions by scrap and secondhand dealers.