MOBILE, Alabama (WALA) - A new law was put into effect on Thursday to stop criminals from selling stolen cars for scrap. But scrap yards owners say the law needs some tweaking because it's hurting their business.
David Hickman makes a living selling junk. He could look at a piece of trash and tell you its history.
"This is a transducer," Hickman said as he picked up a piece of rusted metal.
Hickman owns David's Auto Shredding. He buys cars for scrap.
"We get 100 cars a day," Hickman said.
He puts them through this massive machine and in 30 seconds, it becomes scrap that he sells to steel mills. These metal pieces are recycled and transformed into products like cars.
"Without the scrap, you couldn't drive automobiles," said Hickman.
But a new law is putting the brakes on his business. Under this new law, if someone wants to sell a car for scrap, he must show a title if the car is model year 1975 or later. The Alabama Department of Revenue says this law closes a loophole used by car thieves, but its costing scrap yards to lose some business.
"Starting today, we lost a lot, about 25 cars we lost today," Mary McGehee with David's Auto Shredding said.
They had to turn them away because they didn't have the title. Some of these cars have been abandoned and the titles are long gone.
"We've lost money too because we got employees here that needs to be shredding something," added Hickman.
Some folks now don't know what to do. Two people brought in an old Corolla and a run-down van to sell for scrap. But they didn't have titles, so instead of taking the vehicles back home, they left them outside the front gate.
"I can't even bring it in here because it's not ours either, we have no paperwork on it so it's stuck out there," McGehee said.
This scrap yard will still be able to get by, but owners say this is a huge inconvenience to them and some of their loyal customers. They respect the law and want to help stop criminals, but they hope it can be done without hurting their bottom line.
The scrap yard owner says if an owner doesn't have a title he can either apply for a new one or apply for an abandonment title.
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