Thieves in Georgia have found a new way to make money; truck batteries. Weighing over 50 pounds, truck batteries contain a significant amount of lead; thieves are able to sell the contents of the batteries to Georgia scrapyards without identification.
The same crooks, mostly drug addicts, used to make their money by stealing copper wiring. A change in the law has made it more difficult for the sellers to get cash with no questions asked about the copper wire, so thieves have moved on to lead from truck batteries.
Dennis Stanley is an auto repair shop owner in Douglas County. Recently, he became one of the latest victims in this new crime; about 40 truck batteries were stacked up out in the yard and thieves took every one. Fortunately, the offenders in Stanley’s case were quickly apprehended because they left a cell phone at the scene of the crime. The cell phone pictures were posted on the police website and the suspects were identified almost immediately. This is a good example of the type of low-level criminals that engage in these types of crimes.
Fulton County, Georgia has also been experiencing this type of thefts. Truck owners in the two counties are among the first, but are probably not going to be the last victims of this new trend in petty crime. Crimes of this nature usually don’t cost the victim very much in direct financial loss; but the disruption caused by a disabled vehicle can cost hundreds.
Police in Douglas County believe the solution to this new problem lies with lawmakers. Changes to the law are needed to make unloading the lead at scrapyards more challenging.