Law to curb copper thefts takes effect next week

COLUMBIA, SC (AP) - South Carolina law enforcement officers are hopeful a new law will cut down on thieves destroying air conditioning units and other property to sell the copper innards for scrap.

State Sheriff's Association director Jeff Moore said Wednesday that most of the state's 46 sheriffs are already issuing permits to gear up for the law that takes effect in a week.

As of next Wednesday, people selling scrap copper must have a permit from their local sheriff. The free permit is valid for a year. Metal recyclers are required to make a copy of a seller's permit.

They also must record information on each sale, including the date and amount paid, and the seller's photograph and license plate number.

The law also bars cash for copper. Payments must be by check.

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