News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
April 04, 2011
Media Contact:
Gerard Philippeaux


New legislation by Vice Chairwoman Edmonson to combat menace of illegal copper wire stripping

On Monday, April 4, 2011, the Miami-Dade County Commission unanimously approved an ordinance sponsored by Vice Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson that strengthens regulations on scrap metal processors and junk dealers.

Vice Chairwoman Edmonson proffered this ordinance in response to complaints she received from constituents regarding street light outages due to thieves would steal the copper wiring and selling it to scrap metal processors or junk dealers for significant sums of money. Commenting on the stealing taking place throughout her community, the Vice Chairwoman stated that District 3 residents “are very concerned because the darkness on the streets affects the safety and welfare of the community.”

Upon further investigation, the Vice Chairwoman’s office found that this was a countywide issue, with metal being stolen from street light wiring, street signs, manhole covers, urns from cemeteries, houses, and businesses.  Members of the community, businesses and nonprofit organizations called for better enforcement provisions in our code. 

The ordinance combines state statutes and existing County code provisions, while strengthening provisions regarding the sale of “restricted regulated items.”  These include items such as street signs and manhole covers.

“Wire stripping of light poles puts our residents’ safety at risk, and costs the taxpayers when County personnel must replace and repair the damage. This ordinance puts dealers and processors on notice: we will not allow ‘cash and carry,’” said Vice Chairwoman Edmonson. “With an accurate account of sales, much like in pawn shops, we can track down the buyer and seller in illegal transactions. It will make it more difficult for junk dealers to sell illegally stripped wire. We want legitimate scrap dealers to stay in business and contribute to the County’s economy.” 

For more information, please contact Vice Chairwoman Edmonson’s office at 305-636-2331.