April 26, 2010
Theft Alert Program
Police seek help from recyclers to stop metal theft
by GLENN COUNTS / NewsChannel 36
E-mail Glenn: GCounts@WCNC.com
Posted on April 27, 2010 at 6:40 PM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Investigators from Charlotte and Gaston County met Tuesday to discuss how to attack metal theft from a regional perspective.
Part of the answer is making sure recyclers are playing by the rules.
For some people to be able to feed their family they got to go out and collect scrap metal, and thats OK, said Steven Gilbert, who owns Global Recycling on North Tryon Street.
Police say now that the economy is turning around thieves are stealing metals. Copper, aluminum and steel can be cashed in if someone like Gilbert doesnt stand in the way.
Highway street signs, water meters, metal beer kegs we avoid all this material, said Gilbert.
Gilberts customers must sign in and they are scanned into a computer system.
And as each person comes in, we scan them into the system and each persons name, address and ID information comes up, Gilbert said.
Employees then know the customers history and can recall what materials they have brought in in the past. They can also check to see if they are on CMPDs do not do business list.
Three or four times a day we see someone with a beer keg or aluminum sign or a manhole cover. We tell them we dont take that material. Obviously they are taking it somewhere, but they are not bringing it here, Gilbert said.
Gilberts system is fully computerized and is open to the police. He says that small recyclers can accomplish the same goal by keeping good written records and asking questions.