High metal price cause problems - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

High metal price cause problems

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YAKIMA, Wash -- Skyrocketing metal prices have lawmakers considering new laws to prevent the buying and selling of stolen metals.  

One idea is to make scrap dealers operate like pawn shops. Sellers would be required to provide identification and say where they got the material. Another idea would have buyers hold the metal for 30 days before recycling it.

The two most commonly stolen metals are copper and brass.

Lou Valenzuela has been in the recycling business for over 30 years and requires a valid Washington I. D. before buying most metals. "If you have an out of state I. D., no, we don't take it," said Valenzuela.

He also cooperates with local police to watch out for know thieves, and short of finger printing his customers, he is doing everything he can to ensure he is not buying stolen metal.

A greater problem for him now, is preventing robbers from breaking into his building to steal his metal. Two months ago car rammed into his front door and robbers stole scrap metal from his building.