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Arkansas churches targets of recent metal theft

Officials Struggle For Solution To Scrap Metal Thefts

By Jocelyn Tovar

August 23, 2013

PULASKI COUNTY, AR- North Little Rock police have suggested stricter legislation on scrap metal dealers, the business owners where this metal can be sold, who in turn say the restrictions can be taken too far.

"People think we're the bad guys," said Larry Alman the President of Sol Alman Co. "But we're actually the good guys."

After a number of recent scrap metal thefts, many targeting of all things churches, law enforcement question whether stricter legislation is necessary to monitor who can sell this precious metal.

"What we'd like to see is a provision to the law that requires an hvac license to scrap these air conditioning parts," said North Little Rock police officer Shana Cobbs.

"Actually it would be worse," said Alman who said this would not just create more problems, but would be more safety nets on top of strict laws already in place.

"It would start a false or black market," he said.

In fact recent legislation requires these scrap dealers to license their products with county officials so they can then keep track of everything bought and sold.

"The licensed scrap dealers have the software set-up and linked to where law enforcement can see it," said Lieutenant Carl Minden with Pulaski County Sheriff's office.

The scrap yards take fingerprints and pictures of everyone and of everything brought in and it's then uploaded to a county database.

"It's a serious problem we take very seriously," said Alman.

"Really," said Lieutenant Minden. "It's just the fact that as long as people are out and able to make an easy buck they're going to try it."


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