The latest incident is yet another slap in the face to firefighters who are forced to battle more blazes with less gear.
As I write this, thieves in a backhoe are stealing large metal beams even as a fire burns in the plant, a few buildings away.
In the past three days, someone set fire to five houses in a two-block area of East Canfield and Garland. The blazes spread and consumed nine abandoned houses and damaged four occupied homes.
The money is quick and easy – and the metal market is booming, producing record profits for shady scrapyards and a modest living for scrappers.
“Oh, God,” Janet Howard said, fearing the spreading flames would devour the entire block of Garland and Canfield, where an arsonist also set a blaze the day before. “Please. Please, God.”
Investigation: Thieves tear apart Packard Plant for scrap metal in broad daylight; neighbors at risk
Scrapping thieves have become alarmingly more daring and audacious as police have virtually ignored an organized scrapping operation that has sprung up at the abandoned Packard Plant in Detroit.
The city is preparing to seize the Packard Plant because of unpaid taxes that the owner refuses to pay. He maintains he owes no taxes because the city won’t provide basic services to protect his property from arsonists, vandals and thieves.
Bing is expected to call a 1 p.m. meeting in council chambers in what almost certainly will be a bitter, combative session. Crowds have grown more hostile, and the mayor and council’s relationship is dysfunctional.
Today, state Rep. Fred Durhal is expected to announce he’ll throw his hat in the ring, and Wayne County Sheriff Benny Napoleon likely will follow within the next two weeks.