Arizona Lawmakers Take on Copper Thefts
Two Arizona state lawmakers say the state can reduce copper thefts by banning individuals from selling air conditioner parts for scrap.
Rep. Tom Forese, R-Gilbert and Rep. Ted Vogt, R-Tucson, introduced HB 2395, a bill that they say would increase accountability by allowing only certified businesses to sell dealers coils and other parts from household and commercial air conditioners, which are common targets for copper thieves.
HB 2396 would diminish the incentive for stealing copper by requiring scrap companies to pay the “average fair market price” for the metal.
“This has to end; this will end in this session,” Vogt said.
Arizona has regulated purchasing scrap metal since 1968, starting with Legislature requiring scrap metal dealers to maintain transaction records. A 2009 law attempted to curb copper theft by, among other provisions, prohibiting scrap metal dealers from purchasing manhole covers, water meters and catalytic converters in their original forms, says an Arizona Capital Times report.