Simple fixes could stop copper theftPublished 9:20am Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Perhaps the most frustrating and perplexing problems are those which appear to have clear solutions that don’t get acted upon.
That certainly seems to be an apt description of the copper and metal theft epidemic.
The ongoing project to build a new stadium at Chesapeake High School took a significant blow over the weekend as thieves stole the copper water lines that would be part of the restrooms and concession area.
The facts that the school’s insurance will likely cover the losses and that the project should still be completed before the school year are irrelevant. The bottom line is that these thieves have negatively impacted a public project and are essentially stealing from the taxpayers.
Although copper and metal theft has dipped in recent months, it has caused many issues in the past and will likely do so again if permanent solutions aren’t implemented.
The simplest measures would be to strictly enforce requirements to document, with drivers licenses and license plates, exactly who is recycling metal.
Then, once a week, the list of the individuals and what they recycled should be provided to area law enforcement. This information should also be posted online for public viewing.
Failure to follow through with this or properly administer should result in stiff penalties for recycling companies that are essentially looking the other way to allow themselves and thieves to profit. Here in the Tri-State it would be important for lawmakers to work together to ensure that a uniform set of rules were used in all three states.
Police can certainly continue to do their part to catch the lawbreakers but the real crime is to continue to allow a flawed system to exist.