JACKSON — Attorney General Jim Hood, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel, Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper and representatives for Louisiana Attorney General Buddy Caldwell met in Memphis yesterday for a roundtable discussion on the growing concern of copper theft.
Representatives from Mississippi’s Secretary of State’s Office, Agriculture Commission and Department of Public Safety also attended the Memphis meeting along with the FBI and law enforcement representatives for the following counties: Warren, Humphries, Jefferson, DeSoto, Holmes, Issaquena, Sunflower and Washington.
“Copper thieves are stripping irrigation systems and buildings costing farmers and building owners tens of thousands,” said Hood. “Due to high metal prices, metal of any kind, from cars on the side of the road to implements in the field, is being stolen at an alarming rate. I appreciate my colleagues in Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee joining me to discuss the issue and formulate workable law enforcement initiatives and create contacts among law enforcement agencies and farmers in our four states.”
Intergovernmental cooperation is important because thieves often cross county and state lines to sell stolen metal.
Mississippi and Arkansas are using a statewide electronic reporting system created by LeadsOnline called the Metal Theft Investigations System. The system allows law enforcement and metal recyclers to share information and track suspicious scrap metal sales.