City Council Address Copper Theft Problem

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(Memphis) Memphis city council members met with Mayor AC Wharton, Memphis Police Chief Jim Harvey and a representative from the District Attorney office Tuesday, in hopes of finding ways to deal with copper thefts.

“It’s a significant impediment to attracting the kind of investment we need in the properties we want to maintain in the core city,” said Mayor Wharton.

Several investors spoke out about the huge problem copper thieves’ cause.

“The thieves did $20,000 worth of damage, the police department was lucky enough to catch them it was a miracle,” said investor Marshall Gordon.

MPD Chief Harvey presented a long list of possible laws they hope the state legislature will tackle during this upcoming session to help crack down on the problem.

“We would like to see a seizure law added so that if we catch someone even attempting to steal scrap that we can seize the vehicle that they’ve used,” said Harvey.

Harvey also proposed creating a database to track sellers, longer jail time for serial scrap thieves and requiring permits to sell scrap metal.

“If we catch someone crossing the state lines without a permit, we can seize their vehicle and the scrap,” said Harvey.

Mayor Wharton said the city also plan on meeting with cities and law enforcement in Arkansas and Mississippi to get their cooperation.

Wharton also wants to meet with federal authorities.