The vandalism of a Memorial Boulevard statue over the weekend was "disgusting," said state Sen. Tom Colapietro, a Bristol Democrat who represents the 31st District.
Colapietro said a new measure pushed at the request of a Bristol detective should make it easier to nab those involved in stealing metal.
He said that thieves have snatched drain pipes off a Cheshire church, plaques off of graves and more.
"They're stealing anything that weighs anything," Colapietro said, even beer kegs, which are worth about $50 after they've been chopped up for the metal.
To combat the problem, the law that Colapietro championed requires scrap dealers to take pictures of the license plates of anyone bringing in metal to sell and to record what they brought.
"That makes it a lot easier to catch" those swiping the material, the senator said.
It should also slow the number of thefts, he said.
"If you can't sell it, there's no sense stealing it," Colapietro said.
Here's a press release that Colapietro issued about the new measure back on May 7:
State Senator Thomas A. Colapietro (D-Bristol), co-chair of the General Law Committee, today urged Governor M. Jodi Rell to sign legislation he has championed for the last two years that expands measured designed to curb the theft of metals like copper and aluminum. The bill, previously approved unanimously in the state Senate, received a 147-to-0 vote in the state House of Representatives this afternoon.
"This is a bill that expands on the strong steps we took last year to reduce the number of thefts of copper and other metals," said Senator Colapietro. "This is a good, common sense bill. I urge the governor to sign this legislation and join the legislature in its work to stop metal theft."
Senator Colapietro added, "I'd also like to thank Senator Donald DeFronzo of New Britain for supporting the effort to expand this."
The legislation requires scrap metal processors to record certain information for all loads of scrap metal purchased or received, including a description, the weight, the price paid for the load and the identification of the person who delivered the load.
It requires scrap metal processors, junk dealers or junkyard owners to immediately notify their municipal law enforcement of the name, if known, and motor vehicle license plate, if available, of any person offering to sell a bronze statue, plaque, historical marker, cannon, cannon ball, bell, lamp, lighting fixture, lamp post, architectural artifact or similar item.
It also prohibits scrap metal processors, junk dealers or junkyard owners from purchasing or receiving a stainless steel or aluminum alloy beer or other beverage keg container if the container is marked with an owner-identifying word, symbol or trademark.
A first violation of the new law will be considered a class C misdemeanor; second violation will be a class B misdemeanor. Third and subsequent violations will be class A misdemeanors. Additionally, the measure gives a scrap metal purchaser the right to file a civil action against an individual who sells them material that is subsequently determined to be stolen.
The measure-included in an amendment to Senate Bill 298-now moves to the governor for consideration.
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
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