At a press conference today, the Kelowna Detachment of the RCMP announced a new law that will require all local metal dealers and recyclers to report to them on a daily basis, in an effort to crack down on the buying and selling of stolen metals.
While thieves have been targeting copper wire around the City of Kelowna as well as surrounding areas, both the City and RCMP are working together because copper theft is not only a crime, but also a serious public safety concern.
Director of Civic Operations for the City of Kelowna, Joe Creron, says,"First of all, public safety is a our main concern. It's very important that anyone who comes across wires, report them immediately. We have a lot of children that will be returning to school this September and they could be attracted to these live wires, and could cause a terrible accident."
Creron adds that parents should educate their children about the possible dangers of coming across exposed copper wires or live wires.
The Metal Dealers and Recyclers Act will allow police and inspectors to inspect the business premises and records of metal dealers and recyclers (pawn shops as well).
Violation Tickets can be issued for offences, with fines ranging from $100 to $500. Further action could be taken depending on the circumstances, and could be taken to Crown counsel resulting in fines of up to $100,000 or $10,000 per person.
Any suspicious activity should be reported to the RCMP at (250) 762-3300, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.crimestoppers.net