Turning Copper into Gold

(KHNL) - Bruce Pinkerton is here for pay day. His business is trading in recyclables. "Bottles, I do glass, I do everything," said Pinkerton.

Today he's sitting on a gold mine. "Copper pays the most per pound," he said.  And he's got a lot of it-- an entire pile of copper wiring.

"It came from a warehouse," said Pinkerton.

Kevin Chong owns CM Recycling and says copper is easy cash. He used to pay a buck for a pound of copper.

"Now we buy $2.70 to $3 a pound," said Chong.

But with such a good pay-off, he has to be careful who he takes copper from.

"So many people, they scrap for the stolen," Chong explained.

That's why Chong requires a driver's license from all sellers. He says some will go to extremes to make a fast buck.

Thieves hit Pearl City Highlands Elementary. They removed copper rain gutters and down spouts from several buildings.

"To see something like this, it's very heartbreaking," says Dayle Lee, a parent.

Now police are sending out a notice to recycling centers on Oahu. It asks companies to get as much information on the seller as possible.

And while the owner of the warehouse gave Pinkerton the okay to take the copper. He doesn't have his identification. And no ID, means no cash.

"I'll be very mad because this is how I make my living. Right now I have a dollar to my name," said Pinkerton.