State Sen. Mark Grisanti, R-I-60, has announced that his bill S.3497A has passed the Senate prohibiting the sale or purchase of scrap metal items bearing markings of a government entity, utility company, cemetery or railroad unless offered by an authorized employee. Moreover, the bill increases the penalty to a $2,000 fine or imprisonment for not more than 15 days. It also offers the alternative of the defendant paying double the amount gained from the sale and makes it an E felony when someone is convicted of this crime three times within 10 years.
"The stealing of items like street signs, funeral markers or other metal items is not a victimless crime. The stealing of street signs in particular that regulate traffic can cause delays, accidents and even fatalities. Further, state and local governments have to foot the bill for stolen street signs, which eventually comes out of local taxes," Grisanti said. "I am pleased this bill prohibiting the sale or purchase of certain items as scrap metal has passed the Senate today. By creating a significant punitive disincentive to partake in this activity, we hope to curb it or stop it altogether."
Recent incidents in both Utica and Carmel have seen teens arrested for stealing street signs.
The new bill will amend the general business law to prohibit the purchase of certain items of scrap. It makes it unlawful to purchase as scrap items such as street signs and funeral markers.