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Middlemen put crimp in system to catch metal thieves

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Metal thieves have a new friend: the middleman.

Deputies say middlemen have been buying scrap that might
be stolen and not collecting information to trace the sale.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Deputies say middlemen have been buying scrap that might be stolen and not collecting information to trace the sale.

According to Richmond County sheriff’s Investigator Kendall Brown, the latest development in metal thefts is hindering the arrests of the actual thieves.

Brown said there has been a significant increase in the number of people who are putting signs on the side of their trucks and acting like business owners.

Signs stating “We buy scrap,” or “Will pay for metal” on their truck does not mean they are exempt from the law, he said.

“People are trying to make a little extra money,” he said. “These fly-by-night entrepreneurs are coming out of the woodwork.”

The problem that law enforcement faces is that the truckers are paying thieves, knowingly or unknowingly, for their metal at a discounted price and then selling it to the recyclers.

Brown said the price of steel has increased, which is why so many folks are trying to get in on the game.

“People are now selling farming equipment, steel beams and older vehicles that are broken down,” Brown said.

Record-keeping is at issue. If the recyclers notice something suspicious about it, they call Brown.

If the investigator suspects the product was stolen, he can trace it back only to the middleman if the middlemen did not get the correct record information. The middleman ends up going to jail and the thief remains free.

Middlemen are not paying taxes on the money they make.

“These people are taking revenue from the county,” Brown said. “You have to follow the same guidelines as everyone else.”

They need to get a small business license, pay taxes and keep records.

The records are very specific for metal sales. In a 19-page mandate that Brown hands out as an educational tool and warning, the record-keeping requirements are clear.

Every time a metal transaction takes place, the buyer is responsible for getting detailed information from the seller.

The requirements include: A photocopy or scan of a government ID; the weight, quantity or volume; and a description of the type of metal, the amount of money paid and the vehicle tag and type.

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scgator
1042
Points
scgator 11/24/11 - 12:13 am
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We ALL need to be cautious; I

We ALL need to be cautious; I am retired and make extra money a couple of times a month hauling junk cars. Cleaning out someone's garage, or hauling an old car once in a while is hardly to be classified as a business; I am registered with one of the local recycling companies, have documentation with ALL of my info printed on it, so that, not only am I trackable, but also the person I get the vehicle from. Then I use duplicate signed copies "throughout the process".

I resent Summer Moore referring to the middleman as accomplices or hindering law enforcement; those of us who choose to do this legally, do so with the effort to enhance law enforcement and stay above board.

Miss Moore, your referring to us as the metal thieves friend is simply trash journalism and seriously hinders your credentials and integrity.

As a "junk hauler", I WILL NOT buy anything that the "owner/agent" does not first give me accurate, legal info including correct address (driver's license), DL number, phone and email; if the info on the DL is different from the info on the car paperwork.................it is NO DEAL.

When I first stated doing this, I went beforehand to all of the scrap recyclers, AND RCSO and Aiken County SD, to find out EVERYTHING I needed to do in order to stay out of trouble and legal.

Again, Miss Moore, I for one EXPECT an apology from you concerning this article. You simply cannot brand all those who are out attempting to earn a living as crooks or "friends to thieves"........SIMPLY SO YOU CAN WRITE A SENSATIONAL ARTICLE.

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 11/24/11 - 12:14 am
0
0
Everyone is just sick of all

Everyone is just sick of all the metal theiving. Someone stole the metal bar that holds horses secure in my Horse trailer. I'm just glad the trailer is still there:o)

KSL
129064
Points
KSL 11/24/11 - 12:29 am
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I think they are checking any

I think they are checking any website posted now, even when it's from a know legitimate site. Beyond belief!

KSL
129064
Points
KSL 11/24/11 - 12:44 am
0
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I recycle aluminum cans for

I recycle aluminum cans for sale and donate the money to the Aiken Count Animal Shelter. I take the time to take off the tabs for the Ronald McDonald house. it's pretty time consuming, but very rewarding.

KSL
129064
Points
KSL 11/24/11 - 12:47 am
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0
I'm with you, scgator.

I'm with you, scgator.

scgator
1042
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scgator 11/24/11 - 12:49 am
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Thanks KSL for what you are

Thanks KSL for what you are doing; if Richmond County "would" have it's way, you would first need to legally form a business, then incorporate, set up tax records, then apply for licensing; ALL of this, to make sure that THEY get theirs before YOU get a chance to give it to a charitable endeavour. AND AUGUSTA/RICHMOND COUNTY WONDERS WHY THEY HAVE PROBLEMS WITH PEOPLE MOVING OUT OF RICHMOND COUNTY...............MORONS!

KSL
129064
Points
KSL 11/24/11 - 01:31 am
0
0
In Aiken County we have to

In Aiken County we have to get a license if we are hauling an over the limit poundage allowance. The license is free. Of course I'm never hauling that much.

I have set up a volunteer can at work for people to donate their empty aluminum cans. Some do, some don't. I have a few donors who bring in cans from home. I add all of my can contributions to mine, crush them after removing the tabs for Ronald McDonald and the money I get goes to the Aiken County Shelter because we are all citizens of Aiken County. The City of Aiken has some sort of deal with the Aiken County SPCA, and they will only take in animals who came from the city.

If you live outside the city limits of Aiken and want to help animals, give to FOTAS, not the SPCA.

KSL
129064
Points
KSL 11/24/11 - 01:34 am
0
0
fotas.com I believe. If that

fotas.com I believe. If that is not correct, email me.

wildman
1115
Points
wildman 11/24/11 - 07:25 am
0
0
How much would an old flag

How much would an old flag pole be worth? Saw one on the side of the road and thought to myself this could be Christmas for someone. I must have been right, went back later it was gone.

allhans
23619
Points
allhans 11/24/11 - 11:16 am
0
0
If in fact, there are those

If in fact, there are those who are stealing metal from us and recycling for money, then it should be addressed. What I have is valuable to me and I prefer the thieves keep their hands off..
I appreciate the AC bringing this to our attention.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 11/24/11 - 01:53 pm
0
0
I wish they could do a story

I wish they could do a story on where thieves are selling electronics that they steal.

scgator
1042
Points
scgator 11/25/11 - 12:45 am
0
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FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The main

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: The main reason for documentation; recently a young man in south Georgia was arrested and charged with motor vehicle theft; serving time now as we speak. His crime was not having his paperwork in order while hauling a junk vehicle. He bought a vehicle and after the fact the seller reported it stolen and filed with his insurance company for the loss. The young man did not have the correct paperwork to prevent him from prosecution. He figured he did not need anything since the vehicle did not even have an engine in it and had been sitting for several years. His lack of wisdom cost him dearly; and the seller who "apparently" was planning on working a scam against the insurance company got off "scott free".

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