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Friday, March 2, 2012 - 3:19am

Metal Theft Bill Passes Senate

The Georgia Senate has approved a bill targeting scrap metal theft that places more requirements on recyclers and addresses what supporters of the legislation say is a growing problem in the state.

Lawmakers approved the amended bill by a vote of 44-5 Wednesday after lengthy debate.

Sen. Renee Unterman, who sponsored the bill, said the legislation is needed because such thefts have grown more severe in the down economy, even as some recyclers have turned away people they believe are attempting to sell stolen metal from cemeteries, farms and homes.

It is the fourth time in five years the General Assembly has addressed metal theft in the state. Several legislators said they have been personally affected by the issue.

The bill now heads to the House.