Surprise Police: 2 Men Arrested In Aluminum Thefts

Published: Friday, June 26, 2015 - 2:42pm
Updated: Friday, June 26, 2015 - 4:10pm
Surprise Police Department
The suspects stole over one ton of aluminum from Waste Management.
Surprise Police Department
Recycling centers across the Valley pay varying amounts for aluminum.

Police in Surprise arrested two men for stealing 2,400 pounds of aluminum from one of Waste Management’s recycling centers Thursday morning. It can take a lot of aluminum to earn even just a few bucks, but some people have found another way to game the system.

The driver was leaving the facility, which was closed, around 5:30 a.m. when police pulled him over. What they thought was equipment covered with a blue tarp was over a ton of baled aluminum. The driver was arrested, along with a Waste employee. Aluminum prices vary across the Valley. Some recycling centers pay around 37 cents per pound, while others pay much more.

"And then they take those aluminum cans and bring them to California where they not only get the intrinsic value of the aluminum of the can itself, but then they also get the redemption value because California has the buyback program," said Tony DiSanti, who works at American Metals in Mesa.

DiSanti said at around 5 cents per can, illegally transporting out of state cans can be lucrative. Police did not say if that was the suspects’ motive.