ViewPoint: Recyclers be alert!

June 17, 2008

We were pleased recently when an Albany recycling center played a role in the arrest of a copper thief.

The thief was caught on videotape, and when the victims showed the tape to the people at Southeastern Aluminum, they helped identify him.

Southeastern had bought the stolen wiring and paid him $102.

They had a record of it because recycling centers now require customers to show ID.

But that's not enough.  We'd like to see the recycling centers be more proactive in busting these criminals.

Often, the same people show up week after week to sell metal they stole.

Flag the names of frequent customers and work closely with police in identifying them.

Let's find a way to hold customers more accountable for where they got the metal they're selling.

These recycling centers provide the market for these thieves.  At this point, it appears to us to be a starting point for fighting this crime which is getting out of hand.