In 2009, Arkansas became the second State in the country to pass a law to automate the investigations process for metal theft crimes, requiring all scrap metal recyclers to report transactions electronically. Arkansas Act 1354 of 2013 requires scrap metal recyclers to receive a license issued by their local sheriff. It also creates a compliance report that allows law enforcement to easily check to see if scrap metal recyclers are reporting all information required by State law. Those not reporting properly are subject to a civil penalty of $1,000 per violation.
Arkansas was ranked #5 in insurance claims for metal theft with more than 600 claims from 2010-2012 (National Insurance Crime Bureau).
To combat this growing, costly problem affecting farms, businesses, homes, schools and churches, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge launched a coordinated statewide Metal Theft Prevention Program in July 2015.
Special Investigations Division officers trained law enforcement to use a free online service, LeadsOnline, to target metal theft. The trainings were held in Jonesboro, Fort Smith, Texarkana, Mountain Home, El Dorado, Monticello, Fayetteville, West Memphis and Little Rock.
Following the trainings, special agents began controlled sales and inspections of scrapyards to ensure that non-precious metal is properly registered and scrapyards are in compliance with the law.
If there is proof that a scrapyard is not following the law, these agents have the authority to issue warnings or citations.
If you have questions about the Metal Theft Prevention Program or are a law enforcement agency and interested in training, call (501) 682-1558.