Sheriff Berry Tells Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors There is a Metal Theft 'Crisis'

In his role as president of the Georgia Sheriffs' Association, Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry spoke to the group at the end of September.

"Metal theft continues to be a prevalent problem across the state."

That's what Oconee County Chief Deputy Lee Weems on Oconee Patch last month.

It's the same message brought to the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors when asked to give a presentation on the subject at the end of September.

Tougher state legislation better regulating the sale and transport of nonferrous metals would help curb the metal theft "crisis," the Georgia Farm Bureau reported Berry said at the meeting.  It's an issue the Georgia General Assembly may take up next year, he added.

Berry went on to say that a statewide electronic database of sellers' information and a requirement that permits for the transport of more than 10 pounds be issued by local Sheriff's Offices --pending criminal background checks-- would also thwart the crime.

Berry's was the second of two presentations about the impacts of metal theft heard by the Georgia Farm Bureau Board of Directors in the last couple of months.

Read what the president of the Georgia Recyclers Association had to say in July about what property owners can do to protect themselves.


Have you been the victim of metal theft? Has it happened to someone you know?

Bus Driver in Oconee Co. October 07, 2011 at 03:56 PM
Yes, we moved our sons into a rental house we own and my parents had recently moved out of and the freezer, all of the inside of the heat pump and a metal cabinet sitting in the garage were stolen.
Stephanie Gross October 08, 2011 at 06:46 PM
Sorry to hear that! Was law enforcement able to recover any of it?
Cassie Brown October 10, 2011 at 03:47 PM
Do you have to have a permit to carry more than 10lbs of Recyclables or is that something in the works?
Stephanie Gross October 10, 2011 at 04:04 PM
According to the Georgia Farm Bureau's report, permitting the transfer of 10 lbs or more of nonferrous metals is something Berry would like to see happen as a means to curb metal theft. A permit is not currently required.
jmac October 11, 2011 at 03:01 PM
Why? This seems to be another way to generate revenue for the Georgia Sheriff's Offices. Do you think the permits would be free? We all know that the criminal histories are not free. Also the noferrous metals also include Aluminum cans, which means every School Group, Scout Group or Homeless person would need a Permit. Scott Berry should be more concerned with some of the major issues that effect Oconee County, like putting more Deputy's on the road. Now I know he would say its a big problem in the county, but is it really, does it effect all of us or just his business supporters?
Cassie Brown October 11, 2011 at 04:16 PM
This is a major issue. http://oconee.patch.com/articles/thief-strikes-bethabara-baptist. When thieves strike churches and wipe out their AC units, sure their insurance company will pay for them, but the church will have to fork over a deductible, plus their rates will likely be raised when their coverage renews even it even renews with the same company. Those costs are money they could have used to help the community. Same goes for businesses if their ACs are wiped out by a stinking thief. Who do you think they pass their costs to? Us, the consumers. The permit seems like a good idea if there is a way to enforce it adequately.


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