GUAM COPPER THEFT PROMPTS RECYCLING BILL

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SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, January 15) – The mounting incidence of copper wire thefts on Guam has prompted Minority Leader Judi Won Pat, D-Malojloj, to introduce a bill requiring recycling companies to maintain comprehensive records of transactions involving scrap metal sale, including the complete identification of persons who sell the salvaged items.

Bill 12 requires recycling companies to make such records available to law enforcement officers upon request.

The Guam Police Department reported close to 100 cases of copper wire thefts late last year. At least three men were arrested for alleged involvement in some of these copper wire thefts.

Won Pat’s bill prohibits recycling companies from buying scrap metal from "any person under 18" and any person "who appears under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance."

The bill also prohibits any person convicted of robbery, theft or burglary within the last three years to sell any high value salvage material.

The Guam Power Authority earlier said that besides copper wire thefts, the utility agency also deals with thefts of electric meters and aluminum shutters that protect GPA’s emergency water generators.

GPA general manager Joaquin C. Flores said the sale of copper wire as scrap is an attractive lure involving both the thieves and the salvage metal yards that receive the stolen copper wires.

Bill 12 seeks to supplement Public Law 28-18, which requires any person, entity or corporation that buys copper wire to maintain a logbook for one year of all purchases of copper wire from on-island sources.

The log entry should indicate the nature of the items bought, the name and address of the seller, the price paid, the date of purchase, and a copy of each seller’s identification documents.

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