ALBANY, N.Y.---The price of iron, copper and other metals is very high right now, making the illegal buyers prevalent.
Thursday, Senator Chuck Schumer launched a plan to not only crack down on the crooked recyclers, but also the thieves.
Two years ago, 200,000 pounds of copper was stolen from the Central Warehouse in Albany, worth $27,000. Senator Schumer says thefts like that one must end, he is pushing to make them federal crimes.
Investigators say the fire sparked as thieves attempted to strip metal from the giant structure.
Under Schumer's proposed legislation, metal sellers will be required to provide proof of ownership before they sell the metal, cash payments from recyclers will be limited to $100, and it would be a federal offense to steal metal from critical infrastructure.
Larry Schillinger, the environmental attorney for NH Kelman, a scrap recycling business based out of Cohoes, says the company is a big supporter of Schumer's legislation, because it levels the playing field.
Schumer says there are already a lot of scrap metal companies, like NH Kelman that already have rules and procedures in place to guard against thieves. He says his legislation is meant to corner to the other side.