Pics alert law enforcement to metals thievesPublished 8:36pm Thursday, August 15, 2013
New laws regarding the sale of metal to recycling businesses are making it increasingly difficult for alleged thieves to sell their goods.
According to Maj. Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, while sellers of non-ferrous metal were previously required to submit a picture ID, the tag number of the vehicle by which the metal was transported to the recycling business, as well as tell the business where the metal came from, now sellers must go a step further: have their picture taken with the metal they’re selling.
The new requirement makes it easier for law enforcement to track down sellers of stolen metals, Watson said.
“It increases the likelihood that they’ll get caught,” Watson said.
A recent case of this was metal reported stolen from F. Ray Moore Oil Company in Washington on Aug. 6. According to a press release from the sheriff’s office, tools and copper were taken from a truck and utility trailer within a fenced-in area behind the business.
It took only a matter of days to track down the man allegedly responsible for the theft: on Aug. 12, Antonio Holley, 48, of North Respess Street, Washington, was arrested and charged with two counts of breaking and entering of a motor vehicle, two counts of felony larceny and obtaining property by false pretense.
“We received information that he sold new copper tubing in the box at a local recycling center,” said Watson. “We have pictures of him with the metal.”
Holley was held on a $10,000 secured bond. The copper recovered was returned to the victim, said the release.