Cincinnati toughens scrap-metal sale restrictions

By Dan Sewell Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati has approved tough new restrictions on scrap metal sales aimed at curbing thefts.

Legislative experts say the rules will be among the strictest in the nation. They require frequent sellers to obtain licenses, pass criminal background checks and wait two days to get paid.

Supporters said they are trying to deter thieves by making it more difficult to sell stolen scrap. High prices for copper and other metals, combined with a struggling economy, have spurred metal thefts globally.

Opponents say the move is an overreaction that will hurt honest vendors and dealers, send legitimate sales outside the city, and undermine recycling efforts.

The new rules come a day after a man was accused of stealing cremation urns, dumping remains and selling the urns for scrap in the Cincinnati area.