New bill targets theft of copper

New B.C. legislation aims to curb the theft of copper, like one that recently occurred at the Telus compound in Penticton

New B.C. legislation aims to curb the theft of copper, like one that recently occurred at the Telus compound in Penticton.

Bill 13, the Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act, is designed to help deter and prosecute metal thieves, minimize regulatory costs for the recycling industry and protect the personal information of those who sell metal to scrap dealers.

“The industry does have a bit of a black mark because it is hard to track that stuff when it is stolen,” said Colin Jessup, operations manager for Action Metals Recycling Inc. in Penticton. “It’s very hard to determine whether an item is stolen or not because there are no serial numbers on any of it, and unless we receive a stolen incident report from the RCMP or somebody in the industrial park it is very tough to tell.”

Jessup said in the short-term it may be a hindrance to his business having to implement all the changes. He said they already record licence plates and take a person’s name, but don’t ask for identification unless they feel there is some reason to. If the bill is passed it will make B.C. the first Canadian province with legislation targeting scrap metal transactions.

The Telus compound on Calgary Avenue in Penticton was a victim of a recent theft of copper wire. During the night of Sept.30 unknown persons broke into the Telus compound, stealing three spools of copper wire and a few sheets of plywood. It is estimated the total value of the theft is $5,000.

“We welcome this tough approach to regulating scrap metal sales throughout B.C. which will help protect our customers’ access to critical communications infrastructure,” said Kenneth Haertling, Telus vice-president and chief security officer. “Thieves have cut live Telus cables 325 times this year, and when they do so, they are cutting our customers’ access to 9-1-1, putting their very lives at risk. It needs to stop, and this legislation will help.”

Copper trades at more than $3 a pound, but RCMP said it is not just power and phone lines being targeted. Aluminum ladders, billboards, grave markers, street signs and even manhole covers are being stolen. Construction sites are targeted for plumbing and wiring.

Under the legislation, those who deal in high-value metals like copper will be required to record details including the weight and type of metal purchased, any distinguishing marks on it and where the seller says they got it. Dealers will share the details with police on a daily basis and must keep their records for a minimum of one year. Dealers will also record each seller’s personal information and provide sellers a unique code to protect their information. The law will prohibit dealers from buying regulated scrap metal from any seller unable or unwilling to provide required information.

The legislation avoids licensing, but will create a dealer registry and a system of compliance and enforcement.

 

Just Posted

A rainy July is normal for the Okanagan

Rainy days in July haven’t been seen since before 2014

Updated: Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Missing Penticton kayaker last seen on Okanagan Lake

Penticton RCMP are asking for assistance in locating a missing kayaker

What does it cost the City of Penticton to host Ironman?

Mayor believes businesses and other agencies support will help defer event costs

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: cloudy, rain expected

Environment Canada is calling for a risk of thunderstorms tonight across the Okanagan

Athletes and volunteers ecstatic about triathlon’s return to the Okanagan

Race will take place in 2020 on Aug. 30 in Penticton

Hergott: Medical cannabis and ICBC

ICBC might start reimbursing the expense of cannabis just like they do for prescription medications

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

PET OF THE WEEK: Kahlua needs a forever home

Cat lives at Critteraid animal sanctuary in Summerland

Bridgeman wins in Summerland low net competition

Summerland golfers compete in regular league play

‘Beyond the call’: Teen in police custody gets birthday surprise by B.C. Mountie

Unusual celebration started when Staff Sgt. Paul Vadik went to visit the teen in his Coquitlam cell

Trial date set for Kelowna dark web trafficking couple

Cassie Bonthoux and James Nelson face eight separate charges

Okanagan orchard left rigid after worst season in 11 years

Lake Country’s Witzke Orchards looks to bounce back after poor weather destroys crops

Most Read