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[GreenYes] Are Recyclers Buying Stolen Papers? Publishers in Pain.


GRRNfolk - 

For many years poachers have exploited a structural problem in recycling: resources are set out at curbside, and buybacks pay money for them.  So poachers (forget the shopping-cart folks and think about full pickup trucks) have stolen large quantities of aluminum cans.  

In the last year or so recyclers and scrap dealers have also experienced a dramatic rise in theft of scrap metals, especially nonferrous metals such as copper (wiring ripped from buildings) and brass (sinks and tubs stripped of faucets) and big aluminum (highway guard rails, football team benches).  

Now the thieves are wrecking publishers by stealing papers from sidewalk dispensers.  LARGE volumes.  

RECYCLERS MUST FIND A WAY TO BUST THE BAD GUYS!  The publishing thievery offers an unusual opportunity because papers come in bulk, folded, with dates.  How about working locally with publishers and the police to identify how papers go missing and how they look when they appear at a buyback.  We can work with the police to identify ways to facilitate arrests when thieves show up asking our Earth-saving businesses to become fences for stolen goods.  

Currently the publishers are starting to hire private investigators and are worried that recyclers are complicit.  Actually, we were the early victims.  We need to figure this out.  We are precious, our press is precious, the thieves are interfering with both our businesses and reputations.  

Mary Lou Van Deventer 
Urban Ore 
President, Northern California Recycling Association 






Begin forwarded message:

From: Mary Lou Van Deventer <marylouvan@no.address>
Date: December 18, 2007 10:52:10 AM PST
To: NCRA Directors <ncradirectors@no.address>, CRRA Listserve <crra_members@no.address>
Subject: Are Recyclers Buying Stolen Papers?  Publishers in Pain.  

Recyclers - 

Here's a thread from the Bay Area publishing industry.  Many publishers large and small are on the distribution list.  Apparently recyclers are paying for large quantities of stolen newspapers so frequently that one publisher says, "The theft situation is so bad that publishers who have not had occasion to talk with each other in decades are now in regular correspondence.  We can't overemphasize how thefts are impacting an entire industry and threatening many hundreds of local jobs.  In addition to citing and arresting newspaper thieves, we have good reason to believe that local recycling centers are complicit in receiving stolen goods."  

Our buybacks, intended to save resources, are making newspaper thievery so lucrative that publishers are hiring private investigators to bust the bad guys and may set up STINGS AT OUR BUSINESSES.  LET'S DO IT OURSELVES!  We know poaching aluminum cans is a similar problem, but cans are unidentifiable.  Newspapers have publishing dates on the front pages.  Is there a way to set up sting operations in cooperation with publishers and the police to bust the bad guys who use our resource-saving facilities for illegal purposes?  Might we coincidentally catch some of the poachers who have been stealing truckloads of aluminum cans?  

Mary Lou Van Deventer 
Urban Ore 
President, Northern California Recycling Association 




On Dec 17, 2007, at 11:32 PM, Becky O'Malley wrote:



Forwarded conversation
Subject: RE: Newspapers
------------------------

From: Hal Brody - East Bay Express 
Date: Dec 17, 2007 6:00 PM
To: "Yoell, Michael" 
Cc: SF Examiner, USA Today, Berkeley Daily Planet, Bay Area Newsgroup, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Weekly, Job Journal, Common Ground Magazine, Jobs & Careers, San Francisco Chronicle, Gordon Wozniak (Berkeley City Council)  


Lt. Yoell,

Thank you for the response, but this problem is far from solved.  In spite of the fact that this perpetrator was caught and his vehicle impounded, we had more reports of missing papers this week than average.  Perhaps the fact that he was immediately released allowed him to find a friend with a truck, or the others in his business just picked up the slack. This is becoming a problem of monumental proportion, not just because of the massive dollars involved, but the implications it has regarding first amendment rights. The underlying cause of the situation is, of course, not the punks who are stealing thousands of dollars worth of property and getting paid in pennies. The recycling companies week after week are buying what they clearly know to be stolen goods, papers with fresh dates in large quantities apparently with little fear of getting caught.  This is where we need the help of law enforcement.  A couple of busts on this level might make a lot of difference in stemming this lucrative, illegal practice.

Please get back to me with your thoughts on how to proceed.
 

Thank you,

Hal Brody 

President

East Bay Express



From: Yoell, Michael 
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 2:02 PM
To: Hal Brody
Subject: Newspapers  

Mr. Brody,

I am happy the thief was captured.  I apologize you had to hire a private investigator to look into this case; although we were trying to put together an operation, personnel resources are thin and we were unable to react in a timely manner.  I will have the administrative supervisor, Sgt. J. Van Sloten, ensure this case is presented to the DA's office with an addendum regarding all of the effort you put into identifying and capturing the bad guy.

Happy Holidays,

Lt. mike Yoell

----------
From: Becky O'Malley - Berkeley Daily Planet 
Date: Dec 17, 2007 6:11 PM

I'd like to add the Berkeley Daily Planet's support to Hal Brody's
letter.  We too are losing thousands of dollars of papers every issue,
and someone must be buying them illegally.  There are laws against
receiving stolen property and they should be vigorously enforced in
this case.  While many of the boxes where the thefts take place are in
Berkeley, the buyers are in Oakland and elsewhere.


From: Bruce Brugmann - San Francisco Bay Guardian 
Date: Dec 17, 2007 6:13 PM

I agree with Hal and Becky. WE appreciate Hal's efforts and Becky's reponse.   We will helpin any way we can.  B3



-----Original Message-----
From: Becky O'Malley 
Sent: Monday, December 17, 2007 6:12 PM
To: Hal Brody

From: OPEN EXCHANGE MAGAZINE
Date: Dec 17, 2007 8:02 PM
To: Becky O'Malley 


Hal Brody is exactly correct. The theft situation is so bad that publishers who
have not had occasion to talk with each other in decades are now in regular correspondence.
We can't overemphasize how thefts are impacting an entire industry and threatening
many hundreds of local jobs.
In addition to citing and arresting newspaper thieves, we have good reason to believe
that local recycling centers are complicit in receiving stolen goods.
Will the Oakland police set up a sting operation at one or more recycling centers,
or should the publishers themselves hire private investigators or perhaps off-duty
police to accomplish this?
We are open to all constructive suggestions.
Bart Brodsky 
Publisher
OPEN EXCHANGE MAGAZINE  





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