UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 8:54am
WACO -- A new city ordinance could be the reason copper thefts in Waco have decreased since the rash of thefts this summer.
After police reported 81 copper and air conditioning unit thefts this past June, a new city law was formed requiring scrap metal dealers to keep records of all transactions.
That includes photos of the materials, identification of the seller and proof of ownership for regulated metals.
The companies then upload the information to a third-party database as well as to the state.
"We can access those programs and see whose been scrapping, what they've been scrapping and uh, makes it a lot easier for detectives to figure out whose been stealing and scrapping," said Sgt. Phillip Zboril, Waco P.D.
The new law makes it a Class B misdemeanor for recyclers to fail to register and a Class A misdemeanor to knowingly buy stolen metal.