Schumer annouces bill to stop copper thefts

By Perry Russom

November 26, 2013 Updated Nov 28, 2013 at 11:55 PM EDT

Town of Dickinson, NY (WBNG Binghamton) Sen. Charles Schumer said he wants to crack down on metal thefts.

The senator was in the Town of Dickinson Tuesday to announce a new bill that would regulate the buying and selling of metal.

With the recent uptick in copper thefts, Schumer said this bill will deter potential thieves.

Schumer two major problems that contribute to copper theft are the price of the metal and that it's difficult to trace.

"Most of our scrap metal dealers and recyclers are lawful," said Schumer. "They go by the law, but all you need are a few bad ones and then if you're a crook and you bring in the metal, they give you cash, it's an untraceable crime."

The bill requires documentation on where the metal came from, which makes it a federal crime to steal metal, and cap the amount a recycler can pay cash for metal at $100. Any transaction over $100 would be paid by check.

"That will allow Sheriff Harder and all of our law enforcement to trace where the metal comes from and who's paid," said Schumer.

Schumer said this is the time to put metal thieves behind metal bars.

County Executive Debbie Preston said this copper thefts have been an ongoing problem in Broome and she fully supports the senator's bill.