U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar has introduced bipartisan legislation to crack down on the growing problem of metal theft.
Klobachar says metal theft has jumped more than 80% in recent years, as thieves steal high-priced metal from critical infrastructure as well as businesses, homes, churches and even Minnesota veterans' graves - causing families pain and threatening public safety.
In Minnesota, the rise in metal theft has impacted communities across the state. A recent story in the Rochester Post Bulletin highlighted the rise of thefts in vacant homes, construction sites, and even a local church, where thieves targeted the copper wiring in the air conditioning units. According to a Minnesota Public Radio report, the rise in metal thefts in Mankato has contributed to its highest burglary rate in years, and in Isanti County thieves stole more than 200 brass stars from veterans' graves.
As a result of the bill, scrap metal dealers would be required to keep detailed records of secondary metal purchases for two years and make them available to law enforcement agencies. The bill would also require that purchases of scrap metal over $100 be done by check instead of cash, to further help law enforcement track down thieves.