This bill provides additional penalties for junk dealers or recyclers who possess fire hydrants, manhole covers, or sewer backflow devises without proper authorization from the public agency or utility owning or previously owning the item. It also requires that junk dealers and recyclers must call law enforcement within 24 hours if they have unknowingly come into possession of one of these items.
Metal theft is a prolific problem impacting urban, suburban, and rural areas alike. Metal theft targets include everything from essential wiring for community baseball fields to dedication plaques from the local community. SB 1387 addresses those items that can lead to a direct public safety threat. In fact, this bill was introduced in response to a serious injury directly caused by metal theft when a little girl from the author’s district fell into a manhole that was missing its cover because of theft.
SB 1387 relieves junk dealers and recyclers from having to determine whether or not these metal items belonging or previously to public agencies are in fact stolen and creates meaningful penalty enhancements. This bill moved through the last policy committee on consent and has received bi-partisan support throughout both houses. The League thanks Sen. Bill Emmerson (R-Riverside) for his leadership on the bill, as well as co-authors Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Stanislaus) and Assembly Member Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco). The League is pleased to join our partners from local government, utility providers, and the business community in support of SB 1387.
Cities can send their own letter of support. A sample letter is available on the League’s website by typing “SB 1387” into the search box.