Missouri Law Targets Scrap Metal Dealers

KENNETT, MO (KAIT) -- The Show Me State is saying show me your I.D. if you're trying to sell scrap metal.  Missouri lawmaker approved a measure making it easier for law enforcement to track scrap metal dealers that have been plundering copper and aluminum.

"We don't want to buy it stolen because if we do, we give it back and we lose it. So it really doesn't make sense to buy stolen property, at least not to us," said Sharon Wilson, owner of Wilson Salvage and Recycling.

Wilson Salvage and Recycling in Kennett has plenty of customers brining in copper and aluminum. With copper going for as much as $3.10 a pound, Wilson says it's sometimes hard to make sure everyone is honest.

"The police around here were doing double work trying to catch who was stealing what and all we used to have was their signature. That's all we were required to do," said Wilson.

Wilson's has been in Kennett for more than 50 years but it has only been in the last few months that the company has voluntarily upgraded their bookkeeping tracking systems.

"We scan their license," explained Wilson, "The new computer system has a scanning part of the machine and therefore we have their picture, address, everything from there on out and we have a record of what they brought us."

While the new bill will impact all salvage yards, Wilson believes their changes have already made a difference.

"We have had a couple of people, once they realized that the driver's license was required said 'oh, I don't have it, I'll have to come back,' so I'm sure it has and I hope it has," said Wilson.

The new bill makes stealing certain kinds of metal wiring and pipes a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.