Atlanta police say a new state law will help them fight metal theft.

The law, which took effect July 1, prohibits cash payments from recyclers to scrap metal sellers, requires recyclers to register with the sheriff and to enter transactions into a state database, and prohibits recyclers from buying air-conditioner coils unless from a licensed contractor, police said.

“These laws … will aid greatly in removing the economic incentives for thieves to steal air conditioner coils, copper wire, catalytic converters and other metals commonly targeted for recycling,” Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said. “Other portions of the law will assist us in our efforts to both regulate recyclers and investigate thefts. We’re grateful to the General Assembly and others who worked tirelessly to pass these laws.”

Police say metal thefts have been on the rise.

“These crimes also have an incredible monetary impact on all of us,” APD Lt. Dan Rasmussen, Commander of the Fulton County Burglary Task Force said. “It’s not only the loss of the property, but it’s also the replacement and skyrocketing insurance costs, often to taxpayers and nonprofit groups, since we’ve seen lots of public buildings, parks and churches fall victim to these thieves. We are pleased, and hopeful, that these new laws will assist us in fighting these crimes.”