Several motorists were stopped on Friday as they came into Illinois, allegedly hauling stolen scrap metal. Working with the St. Charles County Sheriff's Department and the Alton Southern Railroad, Alton Police were notified as trucks loaded down with scrap made their way toward the Clark Bridge, and police then pulled the drivers over after developing probable cause. Some were determined to be innocent of wrongdoing, but at least one man was allegedly caught with stolen items.
Those items included street signs from St. Louis. Scrap theft is part of an ongoing problem that Alton Police Chief David Hayes hopes will be addressed with the passage of a new ordinance last Wednesday night tightening the noose on those who would deal in illegally obtained metals.
Hayes says the biggest change the scrap recycler will see is a three day wait on getting paid, and then that will be in the form of a check, rather than in cash. He says there will be no effect on the person who just recycles a couple of bags of aluminum cans on occasion.