After three long years, lawmakers and Gov. Rick Snyder finally approved a law that will make it more difficult for scrap metal thieves to exchange their stolen goods for money.
Under the bill, signed into law Thursday, scrapyards are required to take photos of scrappers and their metal. Anyone who brings in air conditioning units, catalytic converters and copper wire worth more than $25 must have a check sent to them and cannot be paid in cash.
So how destructive are scrappers? In Detroit, they steal manhole covers, gut historic buildings, schools and churches and rip out light poles.
Dozens of vacant schools have been gutted by scrap metal thieves. For a few thousand dollars, scrappers can destroy a school in days, costing Detroit Public Schools and other districts millions of dollars. Some of the schools recently gutted were Southwestern High School, Jackson Intermediate, Parker Elementary-Middle School and Hutchins Intermediate.
2. Manhole covers
In the past two years, thousands of sewer and manhole covers have been stolen, creating hazards for unsuspecting pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists. The cast iron lids, which weigh between 50 and 240 pounds, fetch scrappers between $10 and $25 at local scrap yards,
3. Century-old graves
Thieves stole mausoleum doors, gates, stained glass windows, marble and other material at Woodmere Cemetery last year.
Some of Detroit’s historic, most beautiful churches have been hit hard by scrappers.
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