Local News

Ten charged in Durham scrap metal sting

Posted April 12, 2011 6:00 p.m. EDT
Updated April 12, 2011 7:13 p.m. EDT

— Police said Tuesday that they have charged 10 people at Durham recycling operations and junkyards with buying stolen scrap metal.

Chief Jose Lopez said Tuesday that officers conducted a sting operation by taking grave markers, catalytic converters, air conditioning coils and even a city sign to local businesses.

Police have been educating scrap yards for three years about what items they shouldn't buy because they are likely stolen, Lopez said. Some of the items used in the sting can be sold only by authorized people.

Arrests were made at Always Buying Scrap, at 2210 Kate St., J&D Recyclers, at 2645 Cheek Road, Fortress Metals, at 217 Holman St., and Foss Auto Recycling, 1915 Riddle Road.

Metal thefts have accounted for numerous break-ins and larcenies in Durham in recent years, Lopez said.

"This is something that this community, the City of Durham, felt very strongly about because this impacts so many individuals,” he said. "An individual who goes in with, let's say, some air-conditioning coils for a couple of dollars, has cost a citizen not just the impact of being victimized but also several thousand of dollars in repairs."