Key Committee Clears Assemblymember Garcia’s Bill to Combat Metal Theft Crisis

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Copper-Wire
Bill would assist public safety agencies with the needed resources and funds

(SACRAMENTO) – The Assembly Committee on Public Safety passed a bill today authored by Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Imperial/Coachella), which would create the Metal Theft Task Force within the California Department of Justice (DOJ). The metal theft legislation would also direct DOJ to award grants based on a number of criteria to determine where the most pressing needs are for additional funding.

“We must tackle the metal theft issue that has severely hit our California industries, agriculture, residential construction and my district,” said Garcia. “Law enforcement agencies often do not have the resources or expertise needed to investigate metal theft crimes—through our legislation, we will be able to distribute grants to regional and local law enforcements agencies for use in combating metal theft crimes and provide them relief.”

copper theftMetal theft is a growing problem in California, costing homeowners, business, and public agencies thousands of dollars in repairs each time a theft occurs – this is exponentially higher than the salvage value thieves receive. Estimates show metal theft cost the US economy over $1 billion per year according to the Department of Energy.

“We welcome Assemblymember Garcia’s legislation in wanting to increase resources to law enforcement agencies. Metal and Copper theft is an issue our agency deals with. We look forward in the end to tackling this issue county-wide and furthering how we can assist the DOJ task force,” stated Imperial County Sheriff Raymond Loera.

Assembly Bill (AB) 1019 now awaits further review in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. For further information about AB 1019, please log on to: http://www.leginfo.ca.gov