New state bill looks to curb copper theft

January 19, 2012

Copper theft has been on the rise in Arizona over the past several years. New bills in the state legislature may help to curtail theft by making copper more difficult to resell. From Phoenix, KJZZ’s Nick Blumberg has more.

 NICK BLUMBERG: Attorney General Tom Horne and Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery joined law enforcement and legislators to announce new tools to fight copper theft Wednesday. Bills introduced in the state house and senate would make it illegal to sell copper and other valuable metals without an industrial license. It would also require people found guilty of copper theft to repay the replacement value of the metal, rather than the scrap value. Much of the stolen copper comes from air conditioners. State Representative Tom Forees says the bills will help by:

 TOM FOREES: Defending other businesses, and defending individuals, the homeowners, and defending the churches that get their copper stripped out and a congregation has to sit through church in 110-degree heat.

 NICK BLUMBERG: Organizers of the event say copper theft say cost the Phoenix area $30 million last year.