A 49-year-old Mount Airy businessman was arrested Friday on felony charges for failing to keep records of metal purchases at his recycling business, Sheriff Graham Atkinson said.
Daniel Edward Messer, of Red Brush Road, has been charged with failing to follow regulatory metal transaction laws at his business, D&J Recycling, located on Pine Street in Mount Airy.
Atkinson said the arrest is an effort to help stem the tide of the theft of recyclable materials in the county.
“With the issues we have in the county with the theft of batteries and scrap metal, we have started looking at recycling centers and the paperwork that is required by law to be kept for these purchases,” he said.
This is the second time Messer has been charged.
He was convicted of the same offense in June 2011, and Atkinson said this second charge has been moved from misdemeanor to felony as a result of the previous conviction.
Atkinson said the sheriff’s office is actively looking at other recycling businesses in the county as part of the investigation into the sale of stolen scrap metal and other recyclable items.
“We have so much stuff stolen, and we cannot track it because the proper paperwork is not being done by recycling centers,” he said. “Proper records would help us identify suspects and help put an end to these larcenies.”
Messer was released on a $2,000 secured bond.