Oregon lawmakers target metal theft

Oregon lawmakers target metal theft »Play Video
The price of copper plunged from $3 a pound to less than $1, halting some metal thefts. But what happens when the price rebounds? (File photo)

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Democrats in the Oregon House are introducing three bills to crack down on metal theft.

Portland Rep. Tina Kotek said metal thieves are stripping telephone lines, lifting copper tubing and stealing car parts. She says the issue is serious and among the top priorities for the 2009 legislative session.

The proposed legislation would require scrap metal businesses to obtain a certificate to operate and be responsible for keeping more complete records about the metal they receive and the sellers.

Rep. Greg Matthews of Gresham says the burden has to be on those who accept the metal and not just those who steal it.

(Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.)