PHOENIX — The theft of metal across Arizona is not a new problem.
It has been going on for years. Thieves have stolen hundreds of air conditioners from homes and churches. Wire from an airport was stripped down to point that runway lights were affected. One southern Arizona city lost 911 service for several hours when cable was cut and stolen.
The Arizona House Commerce Committee will meet Wednesday morning on legislation sponsored by Republican Rep. Tom Forese that would create an unprecedented theft notification system that would be free to use. It would allow police agencies to send detailed descriptions of stolen property to recycling operations within a 100-mile radius of the theft site in real time.
“If [recycling operations] are not registered under the free theft notification system, the police will be able to shut them down. That is going to be a big step in moving forward to stop the bad guys,” he said.
Forese said Arizona has some of the nation’s toughest laws against metal thieves and he wants the felony penalties stepped up for anybody convicted of theft that puts lives in danger.
“If they have put the public in danger we want to pursue a Class 2 felony. This is a problem that affects society. If we don’t do something it’s going to get a lot worse.”
Forese said there have been about 4,000 cases of metal theft in Maricopa County with only about 40 prosecutions and law enforcement and prosecutors need the tools to make an example out of the metal thieves who are caught.
One of the worst cases that Forese has been made aware of was the theft of Southwest Gas meters that exposed live gas lines.
“This is more than metal theft. This is the vandalism of infrastructure.”
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon