The Institute of Scrap Metal Recycling Industries (ISRI) launched a new Web site in order to curb metal theft. ScrapTheftAlert.com allows law enforcement to post an alert when metal is stolen, possibly making it easier to apprehend suspects.
Once the alert is posted, it goes out to metal recyclers within 250 miles of the original theft via email. More than 20 different reports have been filed since Sept. 11, providing details on both the material that was stolen as well as the suspect. The site currently covers both the U.S. and Canada.
ISRI has had an alerting system in place since 2006, but the new system reduces the amount of time required to send out alerts because ISRI staff no longer needs to rewrite all reports prior to publishing.
Metal recyclers can register to receive free alerts by providing their name and contact information.
Value of Metal
Scrap metal can be sold to a recycler for reasonable profit, as these materials typically have high value in recycling. Recent examples of scrap metal theft include chunks of the U.S.-Mexico border and a $4.6 million sculpture in England.
Metal theft is of such concern that states like Oregon are imposing laws making it more difficult to recycle metal. Buyers must pay by check and keep records to reduce the anonymity of scrap metal recycling.