The Pennsylvania Senate has approved legislation that would increase penalties for stealing copper and other metals.
Senate Bill 688 would amend current state law so that those who take more than $1,000 worth of metals can be charged with a third-degree felony.
The crime would be a first-degree misdemeanor if the value of the metal is between $200 and $1,000, a second-degree misdemeanor if the value of the metal is between $50 and $200, and a third-degree misdemeanor when the value of the metal is less than $50.
The bill's sponsor, Sen. Mike Waugh (R-York) said his proposal is in response to rising prices for metals and to deter the theft of wire, cable, or pipe from homes, businesses, construction sites and utilities.
The legislation now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.