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Updated Sep 25, 2013 - 4:24 pm

Arizona cracking down on stolen copper resales

(Rose Moser Allyn Public Relations Photo)

PHOENIX -- Arizona is cracking down on scrap-metal dealers who may be accepting stolen copper.

Gov. Jan Brewer has signed into a law a bill that requires the dealers to register with the Arizona Department of Public Safety. They are also required to keep a record and picture of all of the material they take in. Those who fail to register could face $1,000 fines.

In turn, police will set up a website where dealers can check to see if the materials have been reported stolen.

Valley commercial real estate developer Michael Pollack liked the plan. "What used to happen is that is you could just set up a big truck on the side of the road and call yourself I'm buying scrap,' " said Pollack. "Who's regulating that? Well, it wasn't being regulated so good."

He said copper thefts are costing Arizona residents and businesses a lot of money. "It's a very serious matter," Pollack said.

Pollack has been a victim of copper thefts himself. He said thefts at his construction sites have cost him over $400,000 since 2009.

He said honest dealers who don't take the stolen copper have nothing to worry about with the new law.

"There's exemptions in this for licensed contractors," he said. "This is not to stop licensed contractors from doing business, or to stop scrap-metal dealers from doing business. This is meant to stop thieves, because this is what this is all about. Stopping thieves."

About the Author

Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I live in north Phoenix with my wife Rene' and my son Devin.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: My Dad took me to see Jimmy Dean at the Arizona State Fairgrounds in the 1960's. It was before the Coliseum was built. The only thing I remember is Jimmy Dean singing his big hit "Big Bad John."

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Shiloh Community Church in Phoenix. Devin is a high school student at Scottsdale Christian Academy. He plays on the baseball, football, and basketball teams and sings in the choir. Obviously, we keep busy trying to go to all his events! We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and long road trips. We like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.


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