AG CRIME NEWS
CRCPTF Honors Tom Berryhill and Ron Calderon
Legislators of the Year for 2008
For taking on the problematic issue of metal theft, which has cost
California farmers and ranchers significant losses and has spread to cities,
threatening public safety, two state legislators were honored for their
efforts in combating this crime that has become an epidemic.
The California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force named Assembly Member Tom
Berryhill and state Sen. Ron Calderon as Legislators of the Year for 2008.
The task force is a combination of law enforcement, government agencies,
private businesses and organizations within agriculture, working together to
prevent the crimes that plague rural communities.
Working with the task force, Berryhill, R-Modesto, introduced Assembly Bill
844 to combat the crime of metal theft, which hit rural areas particularly
hard. The governor signed AB 844 in September 2008.
“As a farmer, I have seen firsthand the effects of metal theft. The
California Rural Crime Prevention Task Force was the driving force behind
getting AB 844 off the ground,” Berryhill said. “It was one of the first
bills I introduced as a newly elected legislator and we fought long and hard
to get it passed and signed into law. I’m proud of the work we have done
together and look forward to continuing to work with the task force to
protect our rural communities.”
Calderon, D-Montebello, was recognized for his work with Senate Bill 691,
which was also signed by the governor last year.
Both bills require recyclers to implement a three-day waiting period before
paying for scrap metal. Scrap metal dealers also will be required to take a
picture of material being recycled, obtain current identification and a
thumbprint from sellers, obtain a disclosure of the origin of the scrap
metal and provide monthly reports to local law enforcement. The bills
increase penalties against recyclers found in violation of the provisions
and require convicted metal thieves to pay restitution to victims of metal
In addition, Calderon was named the California State Sheriffs’ Association’s
“Outstanding Legislator for 2008.” The sheriffs’ association said it
appreciated Calderon’s “dedication and support for law enforcement serving
the public safety.” Calderon calls law enforcement one of the state’s most
“I’m thankful and humbled by the honor,” Calderon said. “The men and women
who protect our streets and neighborhoods cannot be thanked enough for the
work and sacrifice they endure. The California State Sheriffs’ Association
reflects great credit to all professional organizations that stand ready to
protect our rights, freedom and safety.”