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Governor signs bill to fight theft of metal

Gov. Jay Inslee has signed a bill to reduce scrap metal theft. The bill, HB 1552, was championed by state Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland.

Metal theft is considered a huge problem regionally and well as locally. Thieves have been stealing cemetery urns, farm equipment, copper from power lines and construction sites and brass fittings on fire hoses. Metal is a hot commodity because it is valuable and not easily traced.

The bill passed the legislature with virtually unanimous support in the final days of the regular session. The measure fights metal theft through licensing regulations, a “no-buy” list for prevention, and expanded criminal penalties that account not only for the cost of the stolen material but also the cost of repair and the damage to public safety.

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