New Ohio Law Aims to Slow Down Scrap Metal Thefts

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Police in Ohio are about to get help in trying to crack down on scrap metal thieves who steal aluminum siding off houses and copper wiring from basements.

Scrap metal sellers will be required to show a photo ID beginning Thursday. They must prove that they own items such as guard rails and beer kegs. State lawmakers set the requirements to slow a wave of metal thefts brought on by climbing metal prices.

Thieves no longer are content to steal metal pipes and radiators out of vacant homes. They've swiped railroad tracks in southwest Ohio, an air conditioner unit from atop a police union hall in Toledo and catalytic converters from cars parked in downtown Cincinnati.

A year ago, a northeast Ohio man was electrocuted while trying to steal copper from a power substation.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)