Metal theft is so prevalent that something radical is needed to remove the ease of disposing of stolen items.
Suggested legislation/regulation to greatly reduce the incidence of theft of metals:
(1) Require scrap-metal dealers to record names and proof of identity and residence (eg driving licence number, address from recent utility bill, etc) from everyone who sells to them.
(2) Prohibit payment by cash on the spot. Payment would be by cheque posted to the seller at the address demonstrated above.
(3) Perhaps require scrap yards to hold purchased metal materials for 14 or 28 days, which would improve the chances of recovering items reported stolen.