New council ordinance takes aim at copper thieves - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

New council ordinance takes aim at copper thieves

Metal thefts have cost the city millions. And now the city is talking about passing a new law that would change the way scrapyards do business.

An ordinance in front of the city council would regulate the scrap metal trade by forcing scrapyards to wait five days to pay sellers and hold products ten days before touching.

"By creating a waiting period, I think it would be a deterrence to people who need a quick fix to a quick problem," said councilman Tom Marshall.

Business owners argue it creates a tremendous strain on them.

Scrapyard owner Allen Iskiwitz says the ordinance doesn't actually stop the original theft at all.

"If it solved the problem, they would have a good argument. We feel it does not do anything but hamper the operation of something we've been doing for many, many years," Iskiwitz said.

Jim Wallace is the director at the National Metal Museum. He says thieves are striking while the iron is hot because the market is through the roof.

"Up a huge percentage from last year. We're looking at in some cases double," Wallace said.

The City Council is still discussing the issue and could pass the issue soon.

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