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Council Passes Bill Limiting Scrap Metal Resale

The council hopes the bill will decrease the theft of copper and other scrap metals in unincorporated areas of St. Louis County.

Tuesday, the St. Louis County Council unanimously passed a bill restricting the resale of commonly-stolen metals such as copper and catalytic converters.

The bill requires anyone selling scrap metal to show a valid picture ID, which buyers will enter into a computer database of transactions. The database will contain the names of sellers as well as the license plate numbers of the vehicles that deliver the materials. Police will have access to the system.

In 2011, the South County Police Precinct recorded 20 copper and catalytic converter thefts. The thefts range from Lemay to Oakville and include homes as well as businesses.  

(See below for a full list of copper and catalytic converter thefts in 2011 and 2012.)

The bill only applies to unincorporated parts of St. Louis County, such as Mehlville and Oakville, but comes after a similar ordinance was passed in St. Louis City. 

The code also requires scrap dealers to pay by check if they do not have a valid business license. 

In a town hall meeting about heroin in August, Capt. Chuck Borschert said heroin users often commit crimes such as copper theft and many local crimes can be traced back to the drug. Borschert headed the drug unit before becoming the commander of the West County Precinct. 

In 2011:

Jan. 27

  • Catalytic converters were reported stolen from cars on the 3900 block of Reavis Barracks Road.

Feb 10

  • Unknown suspects cut the chain-link fence and entered the secured lot at AT&T on Sheridan Road. More than $500 in copper wiring was reported stolen. 

Feb. 24

  • More than $500 worth of copper guttering was stolen from the 200 block of Worth Avenue.

March 17

  • Copper downspouts were reported stolen from 222 Worth Avenue, the Missouri Civil War Museum.

March 28

  • An apartment on the 2600 block of Elkhill Drive was broken into. Heaters and copper pipe was reported stolen. 

April 4

  • A residence on the 700 block of Fannie Avenue was broken into. Copper piping was reported stolen.  

April 6

  • A residence on the 600 block of Military Road was broken into. Copper piping was reported stolen.

May 7

  • Copper wiring was reported stolen from a business on the 4500 block of Lemay Ferry Road. 
  • Copper wiring was reported stolen from a business on the 3600 block of Green Park Road. 

May 11

  • Copper wiring was reported stolen from a business on the 6700 block of Telegraph Road. 

May 26

  • Police arrested a suspect after stealing copper from the 200 block of Sheridan Road. The copper was recovered. 

May 28

  • Copper wire was reported stolen from a business on the 4600 block of Lemay Ferry Road.

June 6

  • Copper, electrical wiring and tools were reported stolen from a businesses on the 9400 block of Gentry Avenue. 

June 20

  • A catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle parked on the commuter lot at Reavis Barracks Road and Interstate 55.

July 5

  • A catalytic converter was reported stolen from a vehicle at the intersection of Interstate 55 and Reavis Barracks Road.

Sept. 2

  • A catalytic converter was reported stolen from the intersection of Reavis Barracks Road and Interstate 55.

Sept. 7

  • A catalytic converter was reported stolen from the intersection of Lindbergh Boulevard and Interstate 55.

Sept 21

  • Copper wires were reported stolen from a business on the 4100 block of Bussen Road.

Oct. 9

  • Copper was reported stolen from the 4800 block of Towne Centre Drive.  

Nov. 7

  • A catalytic converter was reported stolen from the 200 block of Lemay Ferry Road. 

In 2012:

Jan. 15

  • A copper pipe was reported stolen from the 100 block of Velma Avenue. 

Feb. 11

  • Copper was reported stolen from the 4000 block of Sir Bors Drive. 

 

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