Stateline Midwest ~ April 2012


A sharp rise in the theft of copper and other metals is occurring across the country, and parts of the Midwest have become a hub of this activity.

While CSG supports efforts by Congress to promote economic growth by safeguarding intellectual property, it has not endorsed either the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) or the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) currently being considered in Congress. 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments (CSG) requests the federal government to pursue opportunities to reduce intellectual property theft through federal and state enforcement efforts directed at rogue websites which operate fraudulently and harm American businesses and consumers.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act makes it a felony for inmates to obtain money by defrauding people. The bill permits corrections staff to freeze all or a portion of an inmate’s account while investigating whether the inmate has committed inmate fraud or while a criminal case involving inmate fraud is pending against the inmate. It requires corrections staff to return money in the inmate’s account to the rightful owner if the inmate is convicted, and specifies that such money must be deposited in a Violent Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund if the rightful owner cannot be located.

Suggested State Legislation: This legislation allows for the amount of goods stolen to be aggregated into one charge before a defendant goes to trial. The Act also allows grouping multiple offenses together to  meet a threshold that imposes stiffer charges on people who commit organized retail theft. This legislation requires establishments which accept large amounts of items for resale to make a reasonable attempt to determine if the items are stolen.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act requires secondary metal recyclers to require identification and maintain a registry of additional information with regard to each purchase of ferrous or nonferrous metals including copper, brass, aluminum, bronze, lead, zinc, and nickel. This allows state and local law enforcement agencies to place a hold on metal purchases by a secondary metal recycler if the metal purchased is suspected of being stolen.

Suggested State Legislation: This Act limits how long companies that process credit card and related electronic transactions can retain sensitive information such as card security code data and PINs after a transaction is made.