Scrap metal dealers increase precautions to cut down on illegal - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Scrap metal dealers increase precautions to cut down on illegal sales

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Despite tougher laws regulating who can sell copper, several people have been electrocuted over the past few years in our area. The latest example happened on Friday, Nov. 30 in Logan County.

Police have found and arrested people stealing copper from power and telephone lines, even air conditioners.

West Virginia passed tougher laws a couple of years ago, requiring dealers who purchase scrap metal to keep strict records about who comes in to sell.

Metals like copper and platinum are bringing a lot of money for potential thieves, but dealers said they take extra steps to make sure everything is being done legally. "We go above and beyond all laws that are required to catch a criminal. With the new law that was passed we have 16 or 17 security cameras and if you've stolen something and you bring it here you're going to get caught because we do everything that's required. The only thing we don't give you is a direct ticket to go to jail," said Randy Halsted from Capitol Recycling Company.

Investigators remind people that stealing copper is dangerous, and can knock out phone and electric service to entire neighborhoods. Anyone with information about copper thefts is encouraged to call police.