Lawmakers in western North Carolina are looking to make it tougher for copper thieves to sell scrap metal, and they're getting creative about how to get it done.
The News Herald of Morganton reports that state Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke, wants to model new laws on similar regulations in South Carolina.
Recycling centers in South Carolina must get more information from people selling metal, and must pay for it by sending a check through the mail.
Blackwell says copper thefts in parts of North Carolina are soaring, with such crimes accounting for up to 10 percent of all reported thefts in Burke County.
The General Assembly cannot pass new laws during this year's short session, so Blackwell hopes to amend a bill dealing with commercial grease theft.
Copyright 2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.