Farmers Fight Back
That's fine with the Missouri Farm Bureau, which also wants tougher laws to prevent theft in the first place. The bureau would like to see a law requiring scrap metal dealers to keep track of where their copper wire comes from. Right now, scrap metal dealers don't have to keep records of who brings in metal to sell. But the Missouri Farm Bureau thinks they should. The bureau says some metal dealers may be unknowingly buying stolen copper from farmers.
"Initially it seemed like it was concentrated in maybe one or two areas, but it seems to be pretty widespread. And there seem to be occurrences with more of a variety of types of metals," said Leslie Holloway from the Missouri Farm Bureau.
The bureau decided to write a resolution that asks lawmakers to force scrap dealers to record where their metals come from.
"We know that the scrap dealers are involved in these transactions and that seems to be one of the most direct ways to try to address the situation," said Holloway.
Copper thefts have gone beyond just farmers. Plumbers and construction companies have had new condensing units, copper and wiring taken from their lots and houses.
"Well, copper prices are just so high right now, so, it encourages them to go out and steal, rather than get a job, I guess," said Dwight Pumel from Dye Plumbing.
The bureau will submit the resolution next month. The legislature will have the option of taking up the issue when it meets again in January.