The Baltimore County Council unanimously enacted legislation Monday that will require scrap metal dealers to be licensed, keep daily records of each transaction, including the seller's identity and vehicle information, and report all sales to the police at the end of each business day.
The crime-fighting measure was written to limit the profit in stolen copper, aluminum and other metals. Theft of scrap metals, which have become one of America's leading exports, has increased at alarming rates across the county, police said.
"This has been designed to get control of a serious problem, all while protecting the interests of the scrap metal industry," said Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson.
In other business, the council ratified a temporary contract with a Texas-based company to install and maintain speed-monitoring cameras. The county will piggyback on Montgomery County's contract with ACS State & Local Solutions Inc. and pay nearly $180,000 a month for 15 cameras that the company will install at school locations where speeding has created safety issues.
Montgomery County's contract expires in February with an option to renew for two one-year terms. Baltimore County officials said they will renew, but only until they have gathered enough data to put the contract out for a competitive bid. They also want information to help determine whether to buy or lease the equipment.
Council member T. Bryan McIntire's motion to table the measure until further information was available failed for lack of a second. He cast the lone dissenting vote on the contract.