Indiana HB 1188, regulating precious metal dealers, was passed in the House. The provision provides, among other things, "that a precious metal dealer may engage in the business of purchasing or reselling precious metal in Indiana only at a fixed premises: (1) owned; or (2) leased for a term of at least 12 months; by the precious metal dealer. Requires a precious metal dealer to register annually with the secretary of state and certain local law enforcement agencies before the precious metal dealer may engage in business in Indiana. Requires a precious metal dealer to verify the identity of a person from whom precious metal is purchased by use of a government issued photographic identification. Requires a precious metal dealer to take and retain a photograph of precious metal purchased by the dealer." 
Click here for a link to the bill.
Click here to read the most recent installment of MetalTheft.Net's Interview Series, an interview with Mick Swindells of Search Dogs UKMichael (Mick) Swindells is a retired UK Police Officer who served 30 years with Lancashire Constabulary. He joined the Police Dog Section in 1979 and has trained dogs in Explosive, Narcotic and Human Remains detection. In 1986, he was promoted to Sergeant and finished his career in 2005 at the rank of Temporary Inspector. He is a Home Office Approved Police Dog Instructor. Since 2007, Mick has been the sole search dog provider for the Independent Commission for the Location of Victim Remains (ICLVR) in Ireland, which is an independent team set up as part of the Good Friday Agreement to locate the victims of the IRA during the “troubles” of the 1970’s- 1990’s. In 2012, Mick was the innovator of the Forensic Marker Detection dog, a field of dog training aimed specifically at combating metal theft and locating forensic markers in other crime scene scenarios.
In the “What Women are Doing” section of the February 14, 1906 Cleveland Sun, there is a short story about Mrs. Sophie Pirek, who was fined $10 for stealing 35 cents worth of iron from the railroads. The paper notes that earlier several of Cleveland’s “leading business men” had appeared before the Chamber of Commerce to demand harsher treatment of women arrested for stealing coal or iron from the railroads. Somewhat miffed by the stiff fine, the paper called on “some member of the Chamber of Commerce or some other person of means” to take care Mrs. Pirek’s three young children, while she worked off the fine. The judge suspended the woman’s sentence “that she may earn a living for herself and her three children the youngest of whom is less than six months old.”
On this day in 1896, the Atchison Globe, swollen with Atchison, Kansas civic pride, derided Leavenworth, KS for its copper theft problem, writing:
"The people of Leavenworth think so little of their electric line that they steal copper wires and other things from it. Up here, we swell with pride every time a car goes by."
Game point - Atchison.
Our interview with the co-directors of the documentary Scrappers was just published in the current issue of Crime, Media, Culture with additional photographs and links to recommended films, etc. The film is now available for rent or purchase. Click on the link below to see a trailer.

A new metal theft study by Chad Posick and associates, "Examining Metal Theft in Context: An Opportunity Theory Approach," has just been published in the latest issue of Justice Research and Policy, the journal of the Justice Research and Statistics Association (JRSA). The researchers analyze metal thefts in Rochester, NY, comparing them to other thefts to identify possible unique characteristics of metal theft crimes (such as a looser geographic clustering). See MetalTheft.Net's Research & Reports page for an excerpt from the abstract and link to the journal.

The Research & Reports page also now includes a copy of a poster presentation reporting the results of a fun project content coding turn-of-the-century newspaper articles on copper theft, conducted by UIndy's CRC. It was presented last week at the American Society of Criminology annual meeting in Chicago, IL.
The latest installment of MetalTheft.Net's Interview Series is now available on the Interviews page. Luke Bennett interviews Mark Harrison about heritage crimes and metal theft in the U.K. Click here to access the interview.
On this day in 1910, the San Francisco Call reported the theft of two sacks of copper worth $37 ($880 today) from the yard of the People's Water Company in Oakland, CA. That same day in another Oakland location it was reported that a young girl asked to see some wares at the Marvin hair store then made off with a "reddish blonde wig" valued at $7 ($167 today).  
Luke Bennett's recent interview with Mark Harrison, English Heritage National Policing & Crime Advisor, about metal theft and heritage crimes will be out in December. It will be the sixth installment of MetalTheft.Net's Interview Series.
Though this isn't directly related to metal theft, I thought I would post this call for help anyway. Approximately 100 babies are born in prison each year in Indiana. These babies did nothing to be there--their moms are the ones messing up--but they bear much of the burden. Children of incarcerated moms are at a significantly higher risk of dropping out of school, ending up in the criminal justice system themselves, and suffering emotional problems such as depression and attachment difficulties. On the other hand, research on prison nurseries suggests they might increase bonding and attachment between mother and child and reduce recidivism of the incarcerated moms.

In 2008, the Indiana Women's Prison opened the Wee Ones Nursery to allow pregnant inmates meeting program criteria to remain with their newborn infants up to 18 months in a special wing of the prison, while receiving parenting education and other services. It receives no funds from the Department of Correction, operating entirely on grants and donations.

The babies there need gently used clothing. Students of mine in a corrections service learning lab at the University of Indianapolis are organizing a used baby clothes drive for the Wee Ones Nursery. If you or someone you know is getting rid of baby clothes, drop me a line, and we can help get them to babies in need.