Tulsa police cracking down on scrap metal thefts with new state law partnership

Tulsa police cracking down on scrap metal thefts with new state law partnership (KTUL)

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Oklahoma law enforcement is waging a war on copper thieves.

For years, crooks have stolen copper wiring and other metals to sell for cash, and now a new state law will make it harder for thieves.

“Ultimately, the cost of this will trickle back to the consumer," said Tulsa Police Corporal Craig Johnson.

Johnson heads up a task force of sorts at TPD’s Gilcrease Division.

He's focusing on catching scrap metal thieves.

“It impacts people financially, it can be a health risk, such as when you’re driving on a dark highway at night," said Johnson.

A new state law changes how thieves can sell that stolen metal.

“Hopefully we’re able to make a dent in this so less people are affected by this," said Johnson.

The Scrap Metal Dealers Act will help keep stolen metal from being sold.

“And at the same time we can still keep a viable industry going by not running them out of business by nickle and diming it," said Johnson.

He says companies like Simms Metal Management in north Tulsa were victims, but with this law they’ll be the ones benefiting.

The law requires a state or federally issued ID to sell scrap metal.

Sellers will now go into a database and anyone selling more than four gauges of metal must show a valid commercial ID.

More than 80 people have been arrested in connection with metal thefts within the last two years.

With this new law, that number that will most likely increase.

The law goes into effect in November.

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