BENTON, Ark. (KTHV) -- Monday, officers with the Saline County Scrap Metal Task Force served a search warrant at Shaw Recycling in Bauxite.
This is a multi-agency task force formed in the spring of 2012 that consists of officers from the Benton Police Department, Saline County Sheriff's Office, Pulaski County Sheriff's Office, Bauxite Police Department, IRS, Union Pacific Railroad Police, Bryant Police Department, and the Saline County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.
The owner of the business, Bobby Shaw, 54, was written 34 citations for Failure to Maintain Records. These charges stem from not maintaining proper administrative records of individuals who sell them scrap metal, which is required by law. Part of the records process is identifying those selling the scrap metal and obtaining a thumb print from them.
Benton police say during the course of the last few years, reports of thefts of scrap metal have hit "epidemic proportions."
Lt. Kevin Russell says the police have received numerous complaints from citizens about the business practices at Shaw Recycling, which is what lead to this investigation.
"No one is immune to being a victim of scrap metal theft," says Russell. "That is the reason these safeguards were enacted in the first place"
A press conference was held in front of Shaw Recycling today at 3:00 PM. regarding this investigation. Saline County Sheriff Bruce Pennington and State Representative Kim Hammer were on-scene to speak about this operation and the impact that this law has had on curbing metal theft in Arkansas. Rep. Hammer was instrumental in helping write and accomplish passage of the AR scrap metal law in 2011.