Macon police officers say they're trying to crack down on copper thefts with the help of a new law that started July 1st.
Major Robert Grabowski with the Macon Police Department says, "We've had fewer incidents and more arrests than this time last year. So, even before that new law went into effect, the details that we're doing and the incidents that are being reported, those have come down."
The law changes the way people can recycle scrap metal, especially copper.
Police say enforcement is now in full swing after a one-week grace period.
Now, scrap metal recycling companies must register with their county's sheriff's office. They also have to keep more electronic records, including pictures. Also, purchases can only be made using checks or money transfers but no cash.
People wanting to sell a few scrap pieces will have to sign a statement confirming that they are the rightful owner of the metal. They will also need to bring a form of identification so the recycling center can scan it and keep the copy with their records.
Some city council members say this won't be enough to put a dent in copper thefts.
Councilman Henry Gibson says, "Making 25 arrests and you have 322 occurences, it sounds good to law enforcement, but to the citizens that are being targeted, that's not good enough."
The Macon city council public safety committee offered to consider adding more officers to focus on metal theft, but Grabowski says he believes the police department already has enough manpower. He says the biggest obstacle will be educating people on the new recycling system.