State attorneys general discuss scrap metal theft

AGs from Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee and Louisiana meet to address burgeoning problem.

April 23, 2014
Recycling Today Staff

The attorneys general from Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana recently met to discuss metals theft problems that are plaguing their individual states. Along with the attorneys general, other state agency representatives, including the FBI and local law enforcement, met to discuss the impact that metals theft, especially that of copper, is having in their individual states.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood says, “Copper thieves are stripping irrigation systems and buildings, costing farmers and building owners tens of thousands [of dollars]. Due to high metal prices, metal of any kind, from cars on the side of the road to implements in the field, is being stolen at an alarming rate.”

He continues, “I appreciate my colleagues in Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee joining me to discuss the issue and formulate workable law enforcement initiatives and create contacts among law enforcement agencies and farmers in our four states.”

To address the problem, Mississippi and Arkansas are using statewide electronic reporting systems created by LeadsOnline, Plano, Texas, called the Metal Theft Investigations System, which allows law enforcement and metal recyclers to share information and track suspicious scrap metal sales.

“In Tennessee, scrap metal dealers register with and are regulated by the Department of Commerce and Insurance,” says Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. 

Copper adds, “We continue to be concerned about the theft and sale of scrap metal and are happy to share information and ideas with authorities in neighboring states to curb this nationwide problem.”