PHOENIX—Republican representative Thomas Forese has introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at metal theft.
HB 2261 would amend the criminal code of the ARS 13-1820 concerning the theft of metals. A person would commit metal theft if “without lawful authority” the person knowingly:
1. Controls ferrous metal or nonferrous metal that is the property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of the metal.
2. Obtains ferrous metal or nonferrous metal that is the property of another by means of any material misrepresentation with intent to deprive the other person of the metal.
3. Comes into control of lost, mislaid or misdelivered ferrous metal or nonferrous metal that is the property of another under circumstances providing means of inquiry as to the true owner and appropriates the metal to the person’s own or another’s use without reasonable efforts to notify the true owner.
4. Controls ferrous metal or nonferrous metal that is the property of another knowing that the metal was stolen.
5. Unless acquired in the ordinary course of business by an automotive recycler or a scrap metal dealer, the inferences listed in section 13‑2305 apply to any prosecution under subsection A, paragraph 4 of this section.
Ferrous metal is defined as metals that will attract a metal while non-ferrous metal will not.
For the purposes of prosecution, the value of the metal would include the damage to the property from which the metal was stolen which occurs during the theft.
As an additional means of combating metal theft, the Legislator has also introduced HB 2262 which would amend sections of ARS Title 44 relating to the licensing and record keeping of scrap dealers in Arizona.
Currently scrap dealers are required to register with the Department of Public Safety and keep records of any transactions they make in metals exceeding $25. The new law would require them to keep records of all transactions.
It would also add certain records that scrap dealers must keep. It would also allow cities and counties to add regulations aimed at recovering the cost of enforcing this law.
DPS would also be required to submit a report every two years to the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House identifying all scrap dealers in the State of Arizona. All law enforcement officer in the state to register with a free web site that would send detailed descriptions of stolen items to scrap metal dealers and other law enforcement agencies within 100 miles of the theft.