Alderman Freeman Bosley, Sr. (D-3rd) has introduced Board Bill 232 to increase the regulation of brick recyclers in the city of St. Louis. The bill has two aims:
– To require that brick dealers videotape all transactions on their yards, keep the tapes for thirty days afterwards and make tapes available to the police department.
– To limit the hours of operation of brick yards so that they close at 6:00 p.m. on Fridays and do not reopen until 5:00 a.m. on Monday.
Bosley’s bill imposes the punishment of fines not to exceed $500.00 and imprisonment not to exceed ninety days for each violation of the bill by a dealer.
These measures are practical and seem to be effective steps to combat the rising tide of brick theft that is decimating vacant buildings in St. Louis Place, JeffVanderLou and Hyde Park. While the theft occurs at all hours, theft is increased during late night and weekend hours, and most thieves lack storage space and money, and thus quickly sell the stolen goods to yards. Late-night sales are not uncommon at some yards.
While the bill does not harm dealers in the suburbs who are also buying stolen brick, perhaps it will inspire ordinances in St. Louis County and other areas where dealers operate. The punishment called for in Bosley’s bill may also not be severe enough to serve as a major deterrent. However, the provision for use of cameras will no doubt have a major impact on the incomes of those who profit from dealing stolen bricks.
Hopefully, the Board of Aldermen will swiftly pass Bosley’s bill.