LAS VEGAS, NV--(Marketwire - August 14, 2008) - Soaring copper prices have made metal a prime target of local thieves. The issue has created a perplexing problem for recyclers like AAEQ Manufacturers and Recyclers in North Las Vegas, who are committed to weeding out legitimate sellers from criminals that indiscriminately steal materials -- ranging from copper wiring and plumbing from residences and commercial buildings to basic infrastructure such as manhole covers and sewer grates.

In light of a police raid on August 13 at a large scale Las Vegas area recycling operation, AAEQ president and CEO, Scott Stolberg, says his company remains committed to working with law enforcement officials to help solve this community-wide problem.

AAEQ recently invested in a new, $100,000 point-of-purchase system called Scrap Dragon that videotapes transactions, takes scanned fingerprints and gives separate IDs to each scrap seller. After a completed transaction, sellers receive a coupon which can be redeemed at an on-premise ATM, which also captures their image. The program is scheduled to be operational in September of this year.

"Our goal is to help law enforcement prosecute people that are stealing metal and then trying to sell it as recyclable scrap," said Stolberg.

Las Vegas area officials are considering legislation to make it more difficult for scrap metal buyers and sellers to profit from the thievery. The plan is to loosely model Nevada's scrap-buying regulations after strict laws enacted in Arizona last year.

AAEQ is a member of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI), an organization that works hard to combat metal theft and works with government agencies to craft reasonable regulations that will help keep recyclers in business while cracking down on illegal sales.

While Stolberg is in favor of good regulations, he said some of the ideas being tossed around by Las Vegas officials would virtually put legitimate recyclers like AAEQ out of business.

"We understand the frustration of law enforcement people due to this growing problem," said Stolberg. "We want to work with them but we don't want to see legislation that discourages legitimate recycling efforts."

Stolberg encourages legislators and law enforcement officials to bring recyclers to the table when proposing legislation so they have a voice in the process. He also encourages them to look at work done by ISRI that tries to balance the interests of all parties.

ISRI has developed "Recommended Practices and Procedures for Minimizing the Risks of Purchasing Stolen Scrap Materials," that recyclers can employ at their facilities to minimize the risk of unintentionally purchasing stolen materials. AAEQ has adopted these guidelines in its operations.

For more information on AAEQ, visit or phone (800) 426-8771. To learn more about the scrap recycling industry and its efforts to combat materials theft, visit

About AAEQ Manufacturers and Recyclers

AAEQ Manufacturers and Recyclers is a comprehensive company that provides leadership in the automotive parts remanufacturing, manufacturing and recycling industries under its AA Midwest and EngineQuest (EQ) divisions. With locations in Las Vegas, Chicago and Blue Island, Ill., AAEQ has been family owned and operated since 1949 and continues to be known for its outstanding customer service and high degree of integrity. AAEQ is also the largest scrap metal recycler on the West Coast. For more information, visit

Contact Information: For Further Product Information, Contact: Scott Stolberg President & CEO AAEQ 800.426.8771 x202 For Further PR Information, Contact: Gary McCoy Public Relations Director The Marx Group 847.622.7228