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New Database Combats Texas Copper theft

By BJ Austin

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-695108.mp3

Dallas, TX – Stealing copper from air conditioning units, construction sites, even highway lights is a big problem, according to Dallas police Lt. Richard Dwyer, who heads the Department's metal theft unit.

As of July first all scrap metal businesses in Texas must be registered with the Department of Public Safety. And, they must file reports of all metal sales electronically. Lt. Dwyer says this streamlines what was a haphazard paper trail and will make it easier for police to spot and track suspected copper thieves, especially those who steal from DALLAS homes and businesses and SELL elsewhere.

Dallas State Senator Royce West, author of the bill creating the registry and sales database, says it's part of a multi-layer approach to get a handle on the growing business of copper theft.