DA: New law protects property owners

A new North Carolina law helps protect property owners from thieves trying to turn stolen scrap metal into profit.

Beginning Oct. 1, the "Metal Theft Protection Act of 2012" sets new requirements for scrap metal dealers, including:

• Scrap metal dealers must pay by check if the scrap metal purchase exceeds $100.

• Photographs and other identification techniques — sometimes including a fingerprint — must be taken of those selling copper and other materials.

• Record a description including the weight of the metal and an address where the scrap metal was obtained.

"These requirements give law enforcement tools to help catch property thieves' ability to quickly obtain money for stolen goods," N.C. District 25 Attorney James C. Gaither Jr. said in a letter to The O-N-E.

To read more of this story, pick up the weekend print edition of Catawba County's community newspaper, The Observer News Enterprise, at newsstands throughout the county.