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Coudersport, PA 16915
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House Approves Measure Aimed at Stopping Metal Thefts, Causer Says
HARRISBURG – With thefts of copper and other metals on the rise across the Commonwealth, the state House today approved legislation taking aim at those who break the law by creating a new category of offense and outlining stiff penalties, said Rep. Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint).

“Homes and businesses of all kinds – including oil leases in the area – have been hit by thieves looking to make a quick buck,” Causer said. “We need to take a strong stand against these thieves because in the end, we all pay the price when businesses and utilities have to replace items that were stolen.”

House Bill 80 creates the offense of theft of secondary metal and addresses the offense of criminal trespass for the purpose of stealing secondary metal. Under the bill, the grading of the offense and associated penalties increases based on the value of the secondary metal. When the value is less than $50, the offense is graded as a third-degree misdemeanor, which carries a maximum of one year in prison and a $2,500 fine. When the value is more than $1,000, the offense is graded a third-degree felony, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine. When a person commits a third or subsequent offense, it will always be graded a third-degree felony, regardless of the value of the metal stolen.  

“As the law stands now, some people being arrested for these thefts are simply going back and re-offending over and over and over again,” Causer said. “We need laws that impose penalties stiff enough to actually deter people from continuing to steal these valuable metals.”

Secondary metal is defined as “wire, pipe or cable commonly used by communications, gas and electrical utilities and railroads and mass transit or commuter rail agencies, copper, aluminum or other metal, or combination of metals, that is valuable for recycling or reuse as raw material.”

The bill now goes to the governor for his signature.

Representative Martin T. Causer
67th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact:  Patricia A. Hippler /
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