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Valley Scrap Yard Using Technology to Stop Thieves

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WESLACO – A local scrap yard is turning to technology after thieves would attempt to resell what they just stole back to them.

"We get targeted over weekends or over three days, weekends mostly, whenever we take off or on holiday," said Ben Gonzalez, owner of Weslaco Scrap Metal.

Gonzalez said on some days they would return to work only to find some of their metal stolen.

"Our bales of cans (would be) split wide open or the batteries from our equipment is missing," he said.

He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS they’re now investing in tighter security.

"We went as far as installing 16 more cameras, so we're now at 32 cameras in total," said Gonzalez.

He said they learned in some cases, these guys try to re-sell what they just stole the following day.

"We went as far as getting the local police department involved, and giving them all the footage and all that good stuff for an arrest," said Gonzalez.

We learned it's not just scrap yards who get hit. Anywhere metal is lying around is a potential target for thieves.

"Construction businesses or places that are under construction or being remodeled," said Sgt. Bernie Garza with the Weslaco Police Department.

Garza said even just stealing a single piece of scrap like this can land you a hefty fine. He said penalties for thefts also get much harsher depending on the worth of what was stolen.

Gonzalez said, for now, he'll continue to do what he can to protect his business.

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