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Politics

Gov. Blunt Signs "Metal Theft Bill" Into Law

http://ozarkspub.vo.llnwd.net/o37/KSMU/audio/mp3/govbluntsi_3280.mp3

Governor Matt Blunt signed a bill today which makes stealing various metals a felony. KSMU's Jennifer Moore reports.

Governor Matt Blunt signed the bill into law Wednesday in Springfield.

The governor said the price of copper has increased five-fold since 2004, and that thieves have tried to cash in on various stolen metal, including beer kegs and street signs.

The new bill requires scrap metal dealers to keep meticulous records on who they buy scrap from. For all purchases over 50 dollars, sellers will have to show a photo ID.

One individual at this morning's bill signing ceremony was Kirk Hansen, who works for Fantastic Caverns. He said his business and 800 nearby telephone customers were without phones for two weeks after metal thieves hit their neighborhood.

Hanses says he and his colleagues used the public library to check their e-mail, but the business naturally suffered as a result of the metal thieves.

The bi-partisan bill covers four types of stolen metal: copper, aluminum, bronze and brass.

For KSMU News, I'm Jennifer Moore.