Friday, February 24, 2012

Scrapping License?

In an effort to curb metal thefts, Cincinnati's City Counsel has recently considered an ordinance that would require everyone who scraps metal to be licensed to do so. Upon hearing this I couldn't help but to remember that last "profession" that Cincinnati City Counsel decided needed a license, panhandling. The panhandling license program was in short, a complete failure.

I don't often scrap, in fact, I've only scrapped once in my life. I had 150pounds of copper wiring that I had been saving in my basement. At $1 a pound it was worth the short trip. When I got to the scrap metal yard I was surprised to see how little metal some of the other people were scrapping. One guy and his young son had a handful of wire and two motors. The wire may have been worth $1 and the motors a couple of bucks each. Personally, I wouldn't bother to drive to a friends house to collect a $6 debt. But to some people $6 is a big deal.

I've been the victim of metal theft, three times in fact. The first time was the worst, they broke into my house and stole my copper pipes. The second time they stole a metal ladder out of my yard and the third time they stole some metal that I was going to scrap myself. Being robbed stinks. It made me angry and I felt violated. The crackhead motto is, "A quick buck for a quick hit."

Over the years Pawnshops have taken the same kind of criticism that Scrap Metal Yards are now taking. Pawnshops encourage theft. But do they? With the right regulations such as holding times and cooperation with local law enforcement. Licensing people to scrap is not the solution. Blacklisting repeat metal theft offenders, requiring holding times on payments, paying amounts over x amount of dollars in the form of a check, and other such policies are the solution.

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