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ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - With thefts of copper and A/C components on the rise, the St. Louis County Police Department is implementing what it calls a "copper/metal marking system."

The system allows the Department of Housing and Urban Development, local banks, school districts, and private real estate owners to participate by marking their copper piping, furnaces, and A/C units with the address of the property to which it belongs.

An invisible marking system will tag the necessary components, allowing scrap yard owners to check the pieces under ultraviolet fluorescent lighting to see where they are coming from. At present, local scrap yards have been collecting identification and other data from individuals who sell scrap copper, but it has proven difficult to tie stolen copper to suspects.

Businesses or homeowners who wish to enroll in this program can contact the St. Louis County Police Department at 314-438-4634 or 314-615-4297.

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