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New regulations help curb metal thefts in Winston-Salem

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Scrap metal thefts continue to drop in Winston-Salem, according to the City Attorney’s Office.

There were 226 reports in the first six months of 2013, marking a 15 percent decrease compared to the same time a year before.

In 2011, there were nearly 700 copper thefts, which doubled from the year before.

North Carolina Lawmakers have tightened regulations on secondary metal recyclers to make it harder for thieves to cash in on stolen goods.

In June, a “cash card system” took effect which requires a photograph to be taken of anyone selling metals to recyclers.

This December two additional amendments will go into effect relating to chop shops -- the places where stolen cars are stripped for parts. The first eases the burden of proof in charging people in connection to chop shop crimes, while the second requires metal recyclers who buy cars for parts to confirm the vehicle isn’t stolen with the North Carolina DMV by reporting information to a national database with vehicle title information.

Winston-Salem Police say detectives work closely with secondary recyclers in the city to try and catch thieves.