Alabama’s Governor Bentley recently signed into law House Bill 278 to help crack down on metal theft in the state. This bill establishes new requirements for the sale of scrap metal and brings stiffer penalties for metal thieves. Sellers of scrap metal must now be photographed, provide a copy of a personal identification card, and give information to identify their vehicles. The purchasers must then submit this information to a statewide database and keep these records for a least one year from the date of sale. Violators may face anything from a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in prison and a $3,000 fine, to a Class A felony punishable by up to 99 years in prison and a $60,000 fine. This is dependent on the nature of the crime and weather it’s a repeat infraction.
As is the case in many states, often these metal thieves do thousands of dollars worth of damage for only a few hundred dollars worth of metal. This legislation hopes to stunt this growing problem.