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Metal Recycling News February 28, 2024 03:40:02 PM

Stolen Scrap Metal Database Helps Recover Part of Vandalized MLK Statue

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
Police say they don’t believe the crime to be racially motivated, but given the status of these works of art, Henesey had his employees on high alert.

Stolen Scrap Metal Database Helps Recover Part of Vandalized MLK Statue

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster):  A nationwide database of stolen scrap metals may have assisted in the recovery of some of the bronze stolen from the Martin Luther King Jr. statue in Denver last week.

Those pieces were recovered after two people sold them to a local scrap metal shop. Shops across the area were put on alert before the sale even happened.

Rocky Mountain Recycling’s Brian Henesey is the chair of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, which runs a database alert system for these kinds of thefts. It’s called ScrapTheftAlert.com.

“That database enables recyclers to identify or be on the lookout or aware of materials that are not legitimate or stolen materials, and that helps us,” Henesey said.

And it helps law enforcement, too. Another local scrap yard alerted authorities on Friday that three bronze pieces from the MLK Jr. statue and seven pieces from the Thatcher Memorial Fountain were sold as scrap metal. Investigators were able to recover the materials and return them to Denver Arts and Venues.

Police say they don’t believe the crime to be racially motivated, but given the status of these works of art, Henesey had his employees on high alert.

“We also amongst ourselves as recyclers, we communicate via email as well. If you see it, please reach out. So in addition to Scrap Theft Alert, that particular statue and its importance to the city and Colorado, we took other steps to communicate amongst ourselves,” Henesey said.

And while police say many of the pieces have been recovered, some haven’t. So places like Rocky Mountain Recycling are being asked to remain vigilant.

“We are not in the business of purchasing stolen material, so we are always on alert of materials that come into our facilities that raise suspicions,” Henesey said.

Police are planning a press conference on Wednesday afternoon for an update on the investigation and information from the artists on repair.

Courtesy: www.kdvr.com

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