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Attorney General talks scrap metal legislation

Reported by: Susan Parker
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Updated: 4/16/2014 6:13 pm
CORINTH, Miss. (WTVA) -- Christopher Carpenter wants to sell some aluminum cans and a little bit of copper to Alcorn County scrap dealer Jimmy Vanderford.

There's no copper buying here anymore.

"It just don't make sense. It's just the way it is," said Carpenter.

Mississippi has a law in place that regulates how copper can be managed. That followed a rise in copper theft cases.

"People started realizing that metal is worth a lot more than it used to be, so actually, it's a market-driven theft," said Attorney General Jim Hood.

Now, there's accountability big time which Bruce Evans. understands, but he says it's killing his business.

"It's too much of a hassle," said Evans.

He already requires a photo ID and personal information. Evans does the required background check as well.

All the steps to make a buck frustrates owner Jimmy Vanderford.

"It's just one rule after another," said Vanderford.

The state requires the dealer to hold on to copper for three days after a purchase.

"We can't afford to build a new building for it. It's pretty well killed our business-us not being able to buy copper. I agree they need to do something to stop the thieves," added Evans.

One ways that helped stop the thieves was to take cash out of the equation. No money changes hands. A check comes in the mail to the seller's address.

"We want free enterprise to be able to flow, but we don't want people to sell metal and take it off," added Attorney General Hood.

Hood says he feels confident other states will follow Mississippi's lead. 
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