Law enforcement investigates metal theft
Thursday, Sept. 18, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, Vidor Police Department, and Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) worked in a joint operation to target metal theft related crimes in Orange County, to include all cities in Orange County.
The theft of certain metals, such as copper, has been on the rise throughout the Southeast Texas area and beyond. The goal of the joint operation was to eliminate and deter metal related thefts by targeting problem areas and suspects related to the crime, as well as educating local scrap businesses on the current laws regulating the industry.
The operation began at 2:00 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 18. Patrols were conducted in marked and unmarked vehicles throughout several areas of the county. Units also targeted the main thoroughfares to and from the local salvage yards with the intent to identify individuals involved in the illicit sell of metal to the salvage yards. The operation concluded at 2:00 p.m.Thursday.
Friday Sept. 19, local salvage yards were provided with copies of the Texas Occupations Code 19.56 in an effort to ensure they were up to date on the laws that regulate the scrap metal industry.
Despite the rainy weather, the agencies involved believe the 12 hour joint operation was a success. Officers made contact with 42 different individuals who helped officers establish information and names of those possibly involved in the sell of stolen metals. One felony theft of metals case was solved with information received during the operation. Additional information received may also lead to other cases being solved. Six individuals were arrested on unrelated charges.
Similar operations will continue throughout Orange County to target those criminals involved in the theft and illicit sell of metals.