Local shops say copper theft is down - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local shops say copper theft is down

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - It remains a hot commodity, but local scrap metal yards say copper theft is on the downward slide.

A-Line Iron and Metals in Waterloo is seeing about half as much copper theft as the business did three or four years ago. One pound of copper costs roughly $2.50 right now - one reason as to why people are inclined to steal it, and then sell it.

A-Line Owner Kyle Stone said copper theft has been extremely down in recent months. It used to be much worse in years past, as thieves would take anything from copper wiring to copper tubing from homes.

Stone said he's implemented several security measures to help ward off copper thieves. He said there's staff nearly around the clock at A-Line, nearly 20-22 hours a day.

"We have people here almost constantly, whether it be truck drivers in and out taking care of our customers, or people working or fixing in the mechanic shop," Stone said.

A-Line also has multiple cameras covering the grounds. One security camera is located at the gate, another in the lobby and an aerial camera is also used to view the entire grounds. Stone also keeps a binder filled with copies of every person's drivers license that has come to the yard wanting to sell scrap metal. The binder log goes back as far as seven years; Stone said it helps make people accountable for what they're doing. Due to a state law passed several years ago, people must show an ID when bringing in scrap metal, as it then makes it easier to track thieves down if copper were to come up as stolen.

Stone is confident in the security of his scrap metal yard, and hopes to send a clear message.

"Word on the street for the thieves is, they know if you come to A-Line you are going to get in trouble. You have to be accountable for your actions here."

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