ST. LOUIS -- Police in Alton say officers pulled over a pickup truck carrying four metal road signs crossing the Clark Bridge on Friday.
Officers arrested Suzann Fones, David Privett and Robert Sullivan, who were all charged with theft.
The signs appeared to be from St Louis City and read "Arsenal St" and "13th St". Another caution sign was marked with the words, "Property of the St Louis County Missouri - Highway Department".
Alton Police say officers are paying special attention to vehicles carrying scrap into the metro-east, explaining that stolen scrap is making its way into Illinois where the laws on buying and selling are not as strict as in St. Louis.
Alton recently passed an ordinance that will align scrap metal buying regulations with those in St. Louis.
State-wide, Illinois lawmakers are debating two pieces of legislation that would strengthen penalties for selling stolen scrap and require buyers to keep more detailed records of all metal purchases for three years.
"A lot of these metals that are stolen are stolen from individuals, businesses, churches," said Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons.
"There's an impact in the community."
Read more about HB 4452 here: www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp
And HB 3825 here: www.ilga.gov/legislation/billstatus.asp
In Missouri, a St Louis County representative introduced a bill that would enact stricter state-wide regulations: www.house.mo.gov/billsummary.aspx