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U.S. Senator Charles Schumer says metal thefts should be a federal crime. 

The New York Democrat made a stop in the Town of Dickinson November 26 to announce he’s backing a bill that would require scrap metal dealers to limit any cash they pay for copper and other metals to 100-dollars with the rest of the payment to be made by check and to make sure they get documentation on who owns the scrap and where it came from.

There has been a spate of metal thefts in the Southern Tier over the past several weeks ranging from copper being cut out of vacant homes to eight thousand pounds of tire rims being taken from a Conklin business and being sold to a local junk yard.

Schumer says having a paper trail could help track down and arrest the thieves and deter future thefts.

The measure is being supported by Broome County Executive Debra Preston and Sheriff David Harder.