S.F. recycler accused of violating anti-metal theft laws agrees to $500,000 settlement 

One of San Francisco's largest metal recyclers will pay the city $500,000 as a settlement in a civil case brought by the district attorney's office because of alleged violations of the city's laws against metal theft, the district attorney's office announced this week.

Circosta Iron and Metal Company, Inc., which according to its website has operated in San Francisco since 1932, was not taking the necessary steps to determine the material it was taking in was not stolen, the district attorney's office said.

It is the third metal recycler pursued by the district attorney's office in the last year, which has netted the city a total of $4.6 million in penalties and costs, according to District Attorney George Gascon's office.

Among the alleged violations were that Circosta, which operates a facility at 1801 Evans Ave. in the Bayview District, did not hold payments for three days as required by law and did not require identification from sellers.

California law also requires that scrap metal dealers photograph and fingerprint people selling certain types of metal, according to the district attorney's office.

"We can't rely on enforcement alone to effectively stop metal thieves," Gascon said in a statement today. "We also have to make sure they can't find an avenue to sell their stolen goods."

The laws are a response to what the district attorney's office called an "epidemic" of metal theft from local governments, construction sites, public transit, utilities and foreclosed homes.

Circosta was founded 77 years ago by Italian immigrant Nick Circosta, Sr., according to its website, and is now run by his grandson Steve Circosta. Steve Circosta did not immediately return calls for comment this afternoon.

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