Ton likes provincial metal theft crackdown

Sellers of scrap metal will now have to give their contact information

A provincial initiative to crack down on metal theft got a big thumbs up from Qualicum Beach council this week.

In a report to council, CAO Mark Brown said Qualicum Beach sponsored a resolution to the Union of B.C. Municipalities two years ago about metal theft, calling on scrap metal purchasers to collect names and contact information from people selling scrap metal.

“We have had experience with metal theft,” he said.

“Town assets have been vandalized and products taken, such as copper. We’ve had incidents where the wire from the field lighting was stolen. We’ve done our best to protect it with welded plates, but it’s an ongoing problem.”

Brown said the town was unable to take action on its own, despite some municipalities passing similar legislation for scrap dealers.

“Some municipalities in the Lower Mainland had metal dealers and recyclers in the community and they could require this,” he said. “However, we don’t have any metal dealers or recyclers in town limits. They are all in the unregulated areas around us, so we couldn’t do anything by ourselves.”

The new provincial legislation closely mirrors the Qualicum Beach plan, he said, noting that the information collected by the scrap dealers would only be utilized if there is a theft.

“If there is an investigation needed, that information can be made available,” he said.