To assist law enforcement in deterring metal theft, state assemblyman Brian Nestande introduced multiple bills before the California state Senate earlier this year. On Tuesday, two of the bills passed in the Assembly's Public Safety committee.
One of the bills will create a statewide Metal Theft Task Force to distribute funding grants to law enforcement and prosecutors for taking on metal theft crimes, officials said in a statement released on Tuesday.
"it is encouraging to see a bipartisan coalition working together to take on metal theft," said Nestande of the support the bill received.
The other bill that passed will require scrap metal recycling centers to subscribe to a regional metal theft alert system. The new system will make recyclers aware of stolen goods within 100 miles of their location and make it much more difficult for thieves to find a purchaser for their stolen goods, according to officials.
"The law enforcement community has been frustrated by the growing number of metal theft incidents and has struggled to deal with the problem due to a lack of resources. Everything from homes to schools to businesses have been victimized by metal thieves," said Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown.
Brown expects the task force to be up and running by 2015.