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State Solid Waste Management Advisory Council Meeting. Ohio Homeland Security. Ohio’s New Scrap Metal Law. The Problem:. The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) ForeCast Report Data collected from 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2012 suggests that:

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State Solid Waste Management Advisory Council Meeting

Ohio Homeland Security

Ohio’s New Scrap Metal Law

the problem
The Problem:
  • The National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB)
    • ForeCast Report
    • Data collected from 1 January 2010 – 31 December 2012 suggests that:
    • Ohio ranked #1 in nation for scrap metal theft insurance claims.
    • Columbus- 13th
    • Cleveland- 9th
    • Cincinnati- 6th
  • Scrap metal theft’s relation to other crimes:
    • Positive correlation with drug use

Why is Ohio Homeland Security Concerned With Scrap Metal?

Virtually every aspect of critical infrastructure is affected by scrap metal theft





Nuclear Power Plants


Emergency Services

AEP Ohio reported that the power outage was the result of a copper theft at the company’s Kimberly Station near Nelsonville.

“An assessment has revealed extensive damage,” the news release said.

- The News Center

  • 12 June – AEP reports:
  • 1,400 – Fairfield
  • 1,400 – Hocking
  • 5,000 – Athens
  • Approximately 100 - Vinton

Economic consequences for scrap metal theft within utilities can be immense. According to perimeter security companies, the cost of repairing damaged transformers or substations can run anywhere from $500,000 to $11 million annually.

This year alone we have experienced over 26 separate substation break-ins in Northern Ohio

Damages and threats are so extensive that the federal government can and is seeking to prosecute offenders under Title 18, U.S. Code, Section 1366 titled ‘Destruction of an Energy Facility’


In 2007 thieves removed 300 feet of copper wire from a Federal Aviation Administration tower in Ohio, threatening to interrupt communications between in-flight aircraft and air traffic controllers.

Thieves are brazen enough to steal metal off of a home during the day – and although this 12 year-old girl captured the event, what if the criminal saw her and panicked? Would she still be here?



  • Objective:
    • Identify the nature of the problem
      • Scrap dealers role
    • Security Impacts
    • Need for working relationships between local law enforcement, yards, prosecutors
    • Driving forces of the problem
      • No single factor accounts for the rise in scrap metal theft. Instead a combination of factors including:
        • The international market
        • Increased opportunity
        • Weak regulation of the industry
        • Increase in property foreclosures
        • Drug use
        • Season

Like most other crime, as long as there is money to be made, it will continue!


Copper Pricing

In volume, Copper is the third most recycled metal after Iron and Aluminum because it is 100% recyclable regardless of its state.






The Law

  • The Law
    • Overview of the changes and why
    • Integrated view of law and relationships of yards, Local Law Enforcement, Yards, Prosecutors, Courts
    • How law can be utilized by Local Law Enforcement
    • Penalty structures
    • Registration
    • Registry
    • Collaboration of Local Law Enforcement and Yards

OHS has been tasked with:

    • Creating and maintaining the databases associated with the law
    • Supporting law enforcement efforts to enforce the law

-Overview of the Law-

  • As long as scrap metal dealers are willing to pay for stolen property, scrap metal theft will continue
  • Who is Regulated?
    • Scrap Metal Dealers
    • Bulk Merchandise Container Dealers
    • Combination
    • "Scrap metal dealer" means the owner or operator of a business that purchases or receives scrap metal for the purpose of sorting, grading, and shipping metals to third parties for direct or indirect melting into new products.

Overview of the Law Continued…

  • Senate Bill 193: November 2012
  • ORC 4737
  • Important Dates:
    • 1 January 2013
      • Scrap Metal Dealers must register with the Ohio Department of Public Safety
    • 1 January 2014
      • Statewide Do Not Buy Lists available
      • Dealer Daily Transaction Upload Database available
        • Scrap dealers must upload a digital list, including images, of their daily transactions

Overview of Databases

  • Contact Information Management System (CIMS)
    • Free
    • Mobile
    • Open to all LE personnel
  • Scrap Dealer Registry
    • Can’t address what you can’t find!
    • Estimated between 700 and 2,000 dealers in the state of Ohio
    • Must register with state and “display” certificate at place of business in plain sight
      • Previous law had no teeth – Felony 5 for non-compliance
    • This information will be searchable anytime by LE from any device with an internet connection



Dealer Daily Transaction Database

    • Dealers will be required to record their daily transactions electronically and then upload them to OHS
    • This information will be searchable anytime by LE from any device with an internet connection
  • Communicating with local SO’s
  • Communicating with dealers
  • Making list of registered dealers Public Records
  • Communicating with County Auditor’s Offices
  • Currently:
  • 88 Counties
  • 13 Counties without any dealers registered
  • 5 Additional counties have confirmed that no dealers operate within their jurisdiction
major changes
Major Changes
  • Photograph of seller must be taken at point of sale
  • Yards must use a commercial scale (Auditor’s seal)
  • Additional “ISRI” codes and SPAs, including burnt wire
  • Bulk merchandise containers are now included
  • SPA transaction reporting
  • Statewide yard registration
  • Electronic reporting to Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) Registry (using ISRI codes)
  • Annual ODPS fees ($200 initial, $150 renewal)
  • Mandated use of ISRI scrap theft alerts
  • Stronger penalties for thieves and yards
  • Level playing field for all yards
laws that did not change
Laws that did NOT change
  • Most (about 95%) of the 2008 law remains the same, including transaction records
  • Base transaction information required
  • Records inspections by LLE
  • Records retention (shorter time post-registry)
  • SPA handling
    • photo of SPA
    • proof of ownership
    • delay pay by check
  • No Tag & Hold or Pay by Check (except for SPAs)
  • Exemptions to law (industrial, commercial, government, charity)
  • Do Not Buy List Requirements (Court records integration)
increased communication is key isri and sta s
Increased Communication is KeyISRI and STA’s
  • Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries – ISRI
  • Scrap Theft Alerts – STA
    • STA
      • ISRI
      • OHS
      • ISRI STA’s will be received and retransmitted through CIMS and LEADS for LE and Dealers
        • Same situational view

Sharing information in real time

  • Collecting and recording information
    • Thefts
    • Recoveries
    • scrap metal transactions


  • General Description
  • Images
  • Location
  • Event details
  • LE POC


Have the ability to transmit a LE enhanced version of this information



What we are doing?

  • Partnering
  • Adjacent States
  • FBI
  • Private Partners
  • Attacking the money
  • Compliance Checks/Sting Operations
  • Using resources at hand
  • Building law with members of interested parties
  • OSP Caravan Plane
  • Ohio Daily Brief –
    • Product description
    • Contacted by NICB-Northeast Region to do presentation in June
    • Partnering through education and information sharing
overall objectives
Overall Objectives
  • Develop relationship between dealers and local law enforcement
  • Identify and respond to non-compliant yards
  • Protect Critical Infrastructure
    • Protect services to Ohio Citizens
  • Support all interested parties with accurate and timely information


Contact Info

Ben Hoffman

Public Safety Intelligence Analyst

Strategic Analysis and Information Center

(Email) [email protected]

(Phone) 614.644.3894