SEC. 97-17-71. Receiving stolen property; junk dealers to keep records of purchases of certain materials; content of records; report of purchase to police required; interstate transportation of certain materials; penalties.
(1) Every owner, keeper or proprietor of a junk shop, junk store or yard, junk cart or other vehicle or boat, or collector of or dealer in junk or other secondhand property of the types and kinds hereinafter described, shall keep a book or register in which he shall enter the following information: the name, address, age and driver's license number of the person or persons from whom any railroad track materials, any copper wire, cable, bars, rods or tubing, any aluminum construction materials or any aluminum irrigation equipment, material or supplies are purchased or otherwise acquired; the date and place of each acquisition of such materials; the description and quantity of such materials purchased or otherwise acquired; and the name and address of the person or persons from whom the seller acquired such materials. For the purposes of this section the words "railroad track materials" shall mean any rail, switch component, spike, angle bar, tie plate or bolt of the type used in constructing railroads. For the purposes of this section the words "copper materials" shall mean copper or brass materials, either hard drawn or soft drawn, copper wire or cable of the type used by public utilities or common carriers or brass pipe or fitting or any combination of these. For the purposes of this section the words "aluminum construction materials" shall mean any cable, bars, rods or tubing of the type used to construct utility or broadcasting towers, or any aluminum siding materials of the type used in the construction of houses and mobile homes, or any irrigation pipes or tubing and appurtenances thereof, whether mobile or stationary. Such book or register shall be made available to any law enforcement officer for inspection at any time. The purchaser of any such copper materials or aluminum construction materials shall, if the quantity of the purchase be fifty (50) pounds or greater, hold same separate and apart from other purchases for a period of not less than five (5) days from the date of purchase and shall permit any law enforcement officer to make an inspection of such copper materials or aluminum construction materials during the five-day holding period. The purchaser shall report all purchases of such copper materials or aluminum construction materials to the sheriff of the county in which such purchases are made, as well as to the sheriff of the county in which his business is located, within forty-eight (48) hours after any such purchase is made in every instance where the quantity of the purchase shall be fifty (50) pounds or greater. The report shall contain all of the information required to be maintained in the book or register provided for herein. If the quantity of the purchase of aluminum irrigation equipment, material or supplies be one hundred (100) pounds or greater, or if the quantity of the purchase of railroad track materials be five hundred (500) pounds or greater, the purchaser shall hold same separate and apart from other purchases for a period of not less than five (5) days from the date of purchase and shall permit any law enforcement officer to make an inspection of such railroad track materials.
(2) Failure by one acquiring any such materials to maintain the book or register or, (a) in a case where the quantity of the purchase be fifty (50) pounds or greater of copper materials or aluminum construction materials, or (b) in a case where the quantity of the purchase be five hundred (500) pounds or greater of railroad track materials, to hold such materials for not less than five (5) days from date of purchase, as required under the provisions of this section, shall be prima facie evidence that the person receiving such copper wire, cable, bars, rods or tubing, aluminum construction materials, or railroad track materials received it knowing it to be stolen in violation of Section 97-17-70.
(3) It shall be unlawful for any person or entity to transport or cause to be transported for himself or another from any point within this state to any point outside this state any materials of the types described in subsection (1) of this section, except such person or entity first report to the sheriff of the county from which he or it departs this state transporting such materials the same information that a purchaser in this state would be required to obtain and keep in a book or register as set forth in subsection (1) hereof where a sale or transfer of such type materials is made within this state. In such a case the sheriff receiving such report shall keep such information in a book or register maintained in his office as a public record available for inspection by any person at all reasonable times. Provided, this section shall not apply to a public utility as that term is defined in Section 77-3-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, engaged in carrying on utility operations or to a railroad as that term is defined in Section 77-9-5, Mississippi Code of 1972.
(4) All purchases made from any person or firm which sells or disposes of railroad track materials or copper, brass or aluminum construction materials as an ordinary and usual part of its business, or from any person or firm which is engaged in business as a secondhand metal dealer shall be exempt from the provisions of this section provided the purchaser obtains a bill of sale from the seller at the time of the purchase. All purchases of metal beverage containers shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.
(5) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1), (2) or (3) hereof shall, upon conviction thereof, be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall be punished by a fine not to exceed One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per offense.
SOURCES: Codes, 1942, Sec. 2249.5; Laws, 1966, ch. 390, Secs. 1-3, 1971, ch. 474, Secs. 1-5; 1989, ch. 578, Sec. 1; 1993, ch. 359, Sec. 2, eff from and after July 1, 1993.