Pa. legislators propose scrap metal database to guard against theft

A state-wide database of scrap metal transactions would help prevent thefts, according to legislation proposed this week by Pa. Reps. Kevin Boyle, D-172nd, and John Taylor, 177th.

Residents in Holme Circle, Mayfair and elsewhere across Northeast Philadelphia have launched their own crusades against scrap metal thieves who enter homeowners’ property to steal material. Grills, children’s toys, bikes and metal lawn furniture are among the stolen items.

The “Scrap Metal Theft Prevention Act” would create a transaction database and require scrap processors to register with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.

“Current efforts are proving to be disjointed and inefficient, requiring significant time, commitment and follow-up by officers,” Taylor said of the existing state law, which allows law enforcement to physically inspect sales receipts at scrap processing locations.

“Scrap metal theft is a serious, ongoing problem that defies easy detection and apprehension of thieves,” Boyle said. “We owe consumers and law enforcement the best tools available to provide a simple, yet powerful solution that prevents theft.”

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