Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Who is stealing those newspapers?

An item from the Daily Post's police blotter for San Mateo:
    1100 BLOCK OF TROUSDALE: An employee of the San Mateo Daily Journal reported at 11:43 a.m. on Wednesday that an unknown person driving an SUV picks up bundles of their newspaper after they are dropped off by the distributors.
Jumping across the Bay, here's a story from the May 29 Berkeley Daily Planet:
    An early riser at 5:30 on Wednesday morning thought he’d spotted a thief in the act of committing a crime which is the subject of legislation that has passed the state Assembly and is now headed for the Senate. He saw a man loading many copies of newspapers from distribution boxes on College Avenue near Ashby into a pickup truck, and he called the Berkeley Police Department with a full description of the man and the truck, complete with license number.

    Officer Andrew Frankel, spokesperson for the Berkeley Police Department, told the Planet on Wednesday afternoon that an officer was dispatched to the area, but there was no sign of a thief when they got there.
The Planet's story, by Judith Scherr, goes on to say:
    Incidents like this one are why there’s a great deal of support among publishers of local free papers — the Examiner, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, the East Bay Express, the Berkeley Daily Planet and more — for AB 1778, sponsored by Assemblymember Fiona Ma, which passed the Assembly 45 to 24 on May 22 and is now headed to the State Senate.

    Under AB 1778, recycling companies would be required to identify those who bring recyclables and newspapers worth $50 or more to sell. The bill also requires the recycling company to pay by check for recyclables worth $50 or more.

    “This should give us the ability to cut off the [poachers’] money supply,” Express Publisher Hal Brody told the Planet.

    A full pick-up load of newsprint will fetch $80 to $100, Brody said, noting that he would have preferred that the bill require identification and payment by check at the $25 level. He said he fears that the bill could be weakened in the senate by those who want the threshold set at $100.

No comments: