Local scrap yards see spike in business
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
KILLEEN -- A struggling economy has people turning to local salvage yards for some extra cash. While scrap metal yards are booming with business, they are taking extra precautions to weed out stolen goods since copper thefts are on the rise.
Lines were piling up at CenTex Scrap and Metal Thursday, no surprise for owner Stanley Secrest.
"The worse the economy gets, the better off our business gets. People have to make a living; they start scrapping out of their own house," says Secrest.
More than 150 customers come through CenTex Scrap and Metal's doors every day, hoping to make big money.
"60 to 200 dollars the average person is bringing in, and these guys will do that three times a day, four times a day," says Secrest.
Charles Counterman is a regular at the scrap yard. He brings in old air conditioning units from his A.C. business.
"There's good money in it. I mean, it's better than throwing it away. It costs us to throw it in the dumpster, and we can turn a profit by bringing it down here."
Counterman made more than $1,000 on his load of air conditioning copper and aluminum Thursday.
Christy Brumbalow deals with customers at CenTex. She says money like that is what draws in the thieves.
"We really watch who brings in the A.C. units, and we'll turn them away," says Brumbalow.
She has to log each customer into a state-wide system that tracks what is sold.
Waco is considering a law requiring business to to do the same to discourage copper thefts, and Secrest thinks it can help.
"As long as everybody plays by the same rules I think it would work."
As for now, most cities are only required to supply police video and sale receipts by request.