Thefts of Scrap Metal Soar with Prices

Industrial sites hit with thefts, as industry fights new security problem

The Illinois and Missouri proposals right now would only require the companies to document who is bringing material to be sold, something that is more palatable to the industry, said Allan Roodman, an owner of Top Metal Buyers Inc.

Managers at Roodman's East St. Louis company already screen small sellers and accept metal only from people with whom they feel comfortable. They also get online alerts from the lobbying group to track and identify suspicious sales.

"We want to work with the police, and a log wouldn't really be too much of a burden," Roodman said. "But keeping all material separate and holding it for inspection, well, that's just not going to be feasible."