Recent Vandal Sprees Include 200-Year-Old Church in Trenton
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora reached out to the state Attorney General on Thursday formally requesting an investigation into the recent spate of scrap metal thefts in the city of Trenton, which has cost business owners and churches countless dollars.
Gusciora pointed to recent news reports about thefts that have hit the city hard over the last few months, most notably the 207-year-old First Baptist Church on Centre Street, which saw eight break-ins in August at which time thieves made off with copper piping, computers, and silver communion trays, among other things. The charity Anchor House also had about $2000 worth of property stolen around the same time.
In light of this, Gusciora sent a letter to Acting Attorney General John Hoffman asking that the incidents be investigated, particularly when it comes to “area businesses that unscrupulously accept obviously stolen scrap metal, such as residential copper pipes, cemetery vases, and even church communion servers.”
Gusciora underscored the importance of investigating the back end of these thefts, particularly in light of Gov. Christie’s recent veto of a bill that would have cracked down on illegal scrap metal businesses by requiring them to keep records of incoming scrap metal similar to what is required of pawn shops when they accept jewelry or other precious metals.
“Since the economy soured, thefts of scrap metal have exploded throughout our state because of the lucrative profit thieves can make reselling it,” said Gusciora. “The best way to deter would-be thieves is to send a clear message that they don’t stand to profit from these exploits. To do that, we need to stop businesses from knowingly accepting scrap metal that is likely stolen. This accountability needs to come from the top down so I hope the Attorney General’s office will work with us on this matter.”
A full copy of Gusciora’s letter to the Attorney General can be viewed here.