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Bill To Fight Scrap Metal Theft Signed Into Law

A bill meant to fight scrap metal theft in Michigan is now law.

Governor Rick Snyder signed the legislation Thursday.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, supporters of the bill say communities across the state have literally been ripped apart by illegal scrapping.

People will no longer be able to get instant cash for commonly-stolen items like copper wire and catalytic converters. That’s unless those items are worth less than $25. Supporters of the bill say mailing payments will help law enforcement by creating a paper trail.

State Representative Rashida Tlaib of Detroit has pushed for tougher scrap metal laws for years. She says it’s now up to police and prosecutors to use those tools to crack down on metal theft.

“I want lights in my city,”  “I don’t want to invest in those resources and turn around a week later and it’s gone.”

Tlaib worries the compromise bill doesn’t go far enough. She says scrappers will go from one dealer to the next getting less than $25 for stolen items.

Jake Neher is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He covers the State Legislature and other political events in Lansing.
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