Bonneville Phoenix Network
 KTAR News
 Arizona Sports
Latest News

Metal theft skyrocketing, few solutions offered

PHOENIX -- Police are scrambling to keep up with the rising number of metal thefts in Arizona.

Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Burch said metal thieves have hit home air conditioning units, freeway lights, digital billboards and cell phone towers, among other things. There's only so much a homeowner can do to prevent being ripped off.

"We've had people who've popped into a grocery store for a few minutes and come out to find the catalytic converter stolen from the car," he said. "There are things we can do to minimize the thefts. Don't leave ladders in your yard that the thieves can use to reach your home air conditioning units. Don't post your every move on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter."

Metal theft has become such a problem that state lawmakers are considering legislation that will make metal theft that endangers lives a Class 2 felony, the second-highest level of a felony crime in the state and equal to second-degree murder.

HB 2262, authored by Rep. Tom Forese, would require scrap metal dealers to register with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. Those who refuse would be put out of business.

About the Author

Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.


comments powered by Disqus
Latest News