Cincinnati pushes new rules to curb metal thefts

LISA CORNWELL Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Cincinnati city officials are pushing to curb scrap metal thefts with tough new restrictions that would require licenses and make sellers wait two days to get paid.

City Council could vote as soon as Wednesday on the proposed municipal code changes. Proponents think the changes will deter thefts by making it more difficult for people to sell stolen metal. Opponents say the measures will hurt honest scrap metal vendors and dealers who purchase metal, and will push business out of town.

Experts say the proposed rules are unusually strict among cities and states trying to cope with scrap metal theft that rose in a rough economy.

Besides licenses starting at $100 a year for regular sellers, changes would require criminal background checks and a wait to get paid by check.