There is help on the way for the City of Trenton and the numerous persons, businesses, and other entities that have become crime victims during the dramatic surge in metal thievery.
Criminals in many areas of the state have begun plotting out methods for absconding with anything containing certain metals, like copper and aluminum, which have experienced significant price increases in recent years.
Assistance for those beleaguered by this crime wave comes in the form of legislation proposed by a trio of Republican legislators from South Jersey who have apparently taken notice of the trend and plan to legislate the problem away – Sen. Christopher Connors, Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt, all R-9.
Under their proposal scrap metal business owners would be required to engage in better record-keeping practices, since they are the usual recipient of the stolen metals.
“Unfortunately, honest operators of scrap metal yards unknowingly become entangled in these crimes by virtue of being the only venue where thieves can turn a profit from their stolen property,” said Assemblyman Brian Rumpf, R-Little Egg Harbor, in a statement.
The law requires such businesses to request identification from anyone making scrap metal sales. On that basis they would be required to maintain records for up to five years consisting of the name and address of metal sellers, which could be used by law enforcement officials to prosecute metal thieves.
Other portions of the law require businesses to disclose sale information to law enforcement officers and to promptly report suspicious sales. Scrap metal businesses found in violation of the disclosure and reporting stipulations would be subject to various penalties, according to the legislation.