Governor Signs Legislation Toughening Copper Theft Penalties

Governor Perdue this week signed into law HB 199 (Metal Theft Prevention Act of 2013), which toughens penalties for the theft of nonferrous metals (mainly copper), helping to address an increasing problem on construction sites across North Carolina.  Criminals have discovered that these metals can be sold quickly and easily for a large profit.  No one is immune to this theft and it is causing a great deal of property damage and can create serious safety hazards.

REBIC, the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and the North Carolina Home Builders Association all supported this legislation which will help deter criminals from stealing nonferrous metals as it will cut down on the ease of getting fast money by:

  • Requiring metals recyclers to be permitted;
  • Adding a penalty for purchasing metals without a permit to go after rogue buyers;
  • Requiring only check payment for copper so there is no “fast money”;
  • Requiring the metals recycler to take a photo of the seller and the metals being sold; and
  • Protecting the innocent property owners by releasing the owner from any reasonable civil liability and requires restitution to property owners for the damage done by the thief.

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