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Senate approves bill aimed at metal thefts

The state Senate has approved a bill aimed at stopping metal thefts — a costly, daily problem in Merced County.

The bill’s sponsors say they are confident it will gain approval from the Assembly and the governor.

If it does, the bill would help law enforcement officials track stolen metals sold to scrap recyclers by forcing recyclers to keep identifying information from sellers, including their photos, thumbprints and pictures of the scrap metal they’re turning in.

Recyclers would have to turn that information over to law enforcement officials every month.

Local authorities say metal thefts have become an almost daily rash in Merced in recent years, and farms are common targets.