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Contra Costa DA Targets Metal Dealers In Copper Theft Crackdown

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A man carries salvaged copper wire. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

A man carries salvaged copper wire. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (CBS 5) – A new crackdown on copper thefts in the East Bay involves undercover work by investigators to catch scrap metal dealers who may have bought stolen goods.

It’s no secret that people stealing copper have damaged homes, businesses and public property across the Bay Area. The Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office is not only going after thieves, but also targeting people who buy stolen copper from them.

On Tuesday, the DA’s office executed search warrants at several scrap metal dealers, to see if they had bought stolen copper and if they were following California law.

The state requires all scrap dealers to document from whom they are buying metal from. Dealers are also required to take fingerprints of the people they are doing business with and to take pictures of all the scrap they buy.

As of Tuesday afternoon, a Contra Costa County assistant district attorney told could not confirm to CBS 5 whether any of the raided businesses had any contraband copper or improper paperwork.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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