A measure intended to deter scrap metal thieves is making its way through the New Jersey legislature.
Assemblyman Angel Fuentes says thieves trying to profit from selling metal have vandalized construction sites, parks, and empty buildings around the state. He says they even targeted a church in Deptford Township.
“Water heating systems destroyed, church flooded, the kitchen destroyed. $3,000 just to repair from $100 worth of copper theft.”
Fuentes is one of the sponsors of a bill that would require scrap metal dealers to maintain records of all transactions for at least five years. The license plate of the vehicle that delivered the metal would have to be recorded. Payment for the metal would have to be in the form of a non-transferable check mailed to the seller’s address.
Scrap dealers say that would add significantly to their costs. They prefer that a list of materials most likely to be stolen be given to all scrap metal dealers who would be banned from buying those items.