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BELMOND, Iowa – Scrap metal or rusty gold; a string of scrap metal thefts has area scrappers like Buck’s Recycling in Belmond on watch.
While they can often detect suspicious behavior, they say it’s previous legislation to help monitor who’s selling that can stop thieves before they buy.
“You kind of get a feeling. They’re acting funny, they’re acting a little goofy maybe a little jerky or something. This drivers license law that they passed last year I think that’s helped a lot with some of these people. It kind of keeps them away but it’s still happening unfortunately,” said Joel Johnson, Manager of Buck’s Recycling Belmond.
A recent cemetery theft of brass vases worth $10,000 in Minnesota now has politicians calling for better laws to crack down on the issue nationwide.
“Especially with our proximity to the Iowa border, people are trying to transport goods across borders, that gets to be a little more of an issue. So I think if we could have more of a nationwide proposal put in place, it probably would help instead of having that patchwork,” said State Sen. Dan Sparks, DFL-Austin.
It’s not just politicians looking to work together on the matter.
According to Joel, scrap yards in Belmond are working together to make sure no one buys suspicious goods.
“We work with other yards in the area to let them know if we have a suspicious load or something like that. We let other scrap yards know as well. Just alert them,” said Johnson.
The “Metal Theft Prevention Act” proposed in part by U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar will look to give state attorney generals the ability to bring civil actions against metal thieves.