|Posted:||December 10, 2012 10:47 AM|
|From:||Representative Daryl D. Metcalfe|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Theft of Secondary Metals|
|I have been contacted by a number of business owners in my district who have been the victims of theft of copper wiring and other scrap metals used in business.
As it turns out, the theft of this material is a problem in many states. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, thieves risk their lives to strip wiring and piping from homes, utility properties, and electrical infrastructure, resulting in power disruptions and revenue losses. Stealing copper and other metals from utilities can cause major electric outages, and expensive repairs impact ratepayers. The Department of Energy estimates that a theft of just $100 in copper wire can cost the utility more than $5,000 to repair.
Consequently, this legislation creates the offence of Theft of Secondary Metal. The new section in the Crimes Code states, “A person is guilty of theft of secondary metal if he unlawfully takes or attempts to take possession of, carries away or exercises unlawful control over any secondary metal with intent to deprive the rightful owner thereof.”
The term “secondary metal” is defined as, “wire, pipe or cable commonly used by communications, gas and electrical utilities and railroads and mass transit or commuter rail agencies, copper, aluminum, or other metal, or combination of metals, that is valuable for the recycling or reuse as raw material.”
The grading of the offense follows the scheme of other theft offenses found in the Crimes Code in that the grading is enhanced when the value of the secondary metal increases. Thus, an offense constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree when the value of the secondary metal unlawfully obtained is less than $50. When the value of the secondary metal unlawfully obtained is $50 but less than $200, the offense constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. When the value of the secondary metal unlawfully obtained is $200 but less than $1,000, the offense constitutes a felony of the third degree. When the value of the secondary metal unlawfully obtained exceeds $1,000, the offense constitutes a felony of the second degree. A third of subsequent offense constitutes a felony of the second degree when the offense is a third or subsequent offense, regardless of the value of the secondary metal.
Introduced as HB80