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Metro Newsroom

Proposed ordinance seeks to rid Metro Louisville of scrap metal theft

Thursday May 10, 2012

For Immediate Release:
Louisville Metro Council
Contact: Tony Hyatt 574-4137/526-3622
               Stephen Haag 574-1204/ 645-1752

The Louisville Metro Council is taking significant steps to address the concerning problem of scrap metal theft throughout the city. In recent years, a growing number of small businesses, non-profits, and residents have reported metal as stolen. Commonly stolen items include air conditioners, gutters, piping, manhole covers, sewer grates and even cars - all taken to scrap metal buyers who pay cash for the value of the metal.

This proposed ordinance will offer tools to track scrap metal transactions and make it more difficult for a scrap metal thieves to successfully sell stolen property.

“Several fellow Councilpersons and I are working to put a stop to this kind of theft,” said Councilman David James (D-6), who is sponsoring the ordinance. “We are working with the scrap metal industry to fashion legislation that is both highly effective at stopping scrap metal theft and economically viable for their businesses.”

The Council’s action follows recent legislation passed by the Kentucky General Assembly. The proposed ordinance enhances the requirements of House Bill 390, calling for daily reporting of purchases made by scrap yards. In addition, the proposed ordinance includes:

· A requirement that no vehicle may be sold to a scrap metal business without a title;

· The creation of a database maintained by the Louisville Metro Police Department that will aide LMPD in their investigation of scrap metal theft;

· Confiscate any vehicle used in the act of scrap metal theft.

“Without factual information from each scrapper that details what has been received in their shop it will be nearly impossible to track criminals who take advantage of our constituents,” James said. “The proposed ordinance also requires the impoundment of vehicles used to transport stolen metals.”

Since last year, James along with Council members Tina Ward-Pugh (D-9), Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13), David Yates (D-25), Marianne Butler (D-15), Kelly Downard (R-16), Jerry Miller (R-19), Kevin Kramer (D-11), Councilman Bob Henderson (D-14) and President Jim King (D-10) along with others have talked with representatives from the scrap metal industry and the law enforcement community to come up with a solution to the growing problem of metal theft.

The ordinance has been assigned to the Council’s Public Safety Committee and is scheduled to be heard next Thursday, May 17th at 3:00 pm.

David James (D) 6