Viewpoint: Metal Task Force badly needed

The number of stories we've done on the senseless and wasteful crime of metal theft in the Albany area may exceed the number we've done on any subject.

You can hardly get through a week without hearing that some home, business, or even church, fell victim to cowardly criminals who creep up in the dark, and destroy an air conditioning system for the copper inside.

They take it to a recycler, and get a few dollars, while the damage they leave behind costs thousands. And we all pay a portion of this cost in higher insurance premiums.

We were thrilled with the recent news that Schnitzer Southeast Recyclers has helped set up the Southeast Metal Task Force, to make sure the thieves don't sell those copper coils at their business.

Schnitzer has partnered with companies like Georgia Power, AT&T, Plumbing unions, and other victims of metal theft to fight back. They are working with law enforcement to put out a metal theft lookout, describing the property to other recyclers.

We are also pleased to see that the buyers get the identification of people selling the metal. They take pictures of the scrap, and the vehicles carrying the scrap."

The task force is encouraging property owners to spray paint identifying marks on their air conditioning coils and valuable metal.

Let's all work with law enforcement and the Southeast Metal Task Force to cut down on this huge, wasteful crime problem in South Georgia.