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Data Sharing Effort In Ohio Combats Scrap Metal Theft

Scrap metal dealers are getting help combatting theft from a new data-sharing arrangement through the Ohio Courts Network. Under a December agreement between the Ohio Supreme Court and the Ohio Department of Public Safety, a "Do Not Buy from Convicted Thieves" repository has been implemented listing those convicted of illegal metal theft. The repository allows for more effective compliance with a 2008 state law that prohibited scrap metal dealers from buying metal from known thieves. The law required dealer registration, transaction tracking and checks of prospective sellers against government records before purchasing bulk loads of metal. The new arrangement makes available more than 270,000 theft convictions from 196 courts already collected by the Ohio Courts Network and sets up weekly updates that pull down the latest information.