The scrap metal trade often leads to scrap metal theft, but a new South Bend ordinance has helped cut back on those crimes in recent months.
However, officials say there was still a record number of those thefts last year.
The ordinance, which went into effect in mid 2006, requires scrap yard employees to ask for identification and a thumb print.
The employees must also record the sellers on camera.
High aluminum and copper prices have fueled the thefts, therefore, thieves strip homes of siding, gutters, wires and pipes to cash in at scrap yards that recycle the metals.
Copper can be sold at scrap yards for up to three dollars a pound, while aluminum can go for up to 70 cents a pound.