CHESTERFIELD, Mo. (AP) -- Gov. Matt Blunt is signing legislation to address the growing problem of copper and metal theft.
The governor was scheduled to sign the bill during a Wednesday afternoon appearance at Chesterfield Police Department in suburban St. Louis.
Last week, lawmakers approved the bill that makes it easier for police to track stolen copper and aluminum. It requires scrap metal dealers to get a copy of a photo identification for people who are not regular business customers but are selling them more than $50 worth of metals.
As the value of metals has risen in recent years, so has the number of theft cases. Thieves have been plundering vacant houses, businesses, churches and even graveyards, then selling the hard-to-trace metal objects to scrap dealers.