We began tracking metals at the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office with our own database that was created in 2008. In fact, it was the success of our metal database that we began our Meth database that allows us to track the pill shoppers.
The difference in tracking scrap metal versus pill shoppers is being able to IDENTIFY where the metals come from. A dealer has no way of knowing whether the person selling it acquired it honestly or through theft. Currently, dealers are required to keep a record of who’s selling and provide that list to local law enforcement. MCSO created a database to aid in that record keeping. We have made a system that actually makes it easier for the dealer to keep their records and post into ours at the same time. Once the information is entered into our system we are able to search our database to see if that person has any prior arrest involving metal thefts. We are also able to see if that person has any outstanding warrants or if there are other red flags that would alert us to some type of criminal involvement. Since we began the metal database in 2008, many dealers have voluntarily shared that information with us on our database.
Metal dealers who take advantage of this technology are helping local law enforcement track, identify and arrest metal thieves in our community. For more information about our program contact us here on our website or call 574-star.
Sheriff’s Assistant for Public Affairs