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HomeLocal & Regional NewsSheriff Says Theft of Recyclables Still a Problem

Sheriff Says Theft of Recyclables Still a Problem

The Lassen County Sheriff’s Department reports that theft of recyclable materials continues to be a problem in Lassen County, throughout California, and across the country.

In Lassen County, there have been recyclable thefts at large scale commercial sites from the Big Valley area in the North to Long Valley in the South. According to Sheriff Dean Growdon there have been thefts of farm implements and irrigation lines from agriculture lands. Recyclable thefts have also occurred on power line utility poles and railroad lines that transverse our county.

Theft of Recyclables has steadily increased as the prices of various non ferrous metals have continued to rise in recent years. In recent weeks, the Sheriff’s Office began working with local recycle dealers to ensure those dealers are in compliance with state law related to recycling. ~ Sheriff Dean Growdon

California Business & Professions Code section 21606 requires recycle dealers to keep written records of all sales and purchases made in the course of their business. These records include the place and date of each sale or purchase of junk, a description of the item of junk, and the personal and vehicle information of the person selling, purchasing, or transporting the junk. Moving forward, citizens can expect to provide all of the above information to dealers when recycling.

Citizens can also expect a 3-day waiting period before receiving payment on $20 or more dollars worth of non ferrous metals, such as: Copper, copper alloys, stainless steel or aluminum (not including beverage containers). Additionally, those recycling more than $20 worth of non-ferrous metals are required to provide a thumb print. Recycle Dealers are required to preserve records of sale and report those records daily to local law enforcement.

“We recognize these requirements seem cumbersome and may delay transactions and payments for recyclables.” said Growdon, “However, these requirements are all existing state law. Ensuring local recyclers are in compliance with state law will prevent recyclable thieves from using our recycle dealers as safe havens to trade stolen wares.”

For more information on this topic, refer to the California Attorney (General website at


Jeremy Couso
Jeremy Couso Publisher/Editor
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