Last week, Bing’s office and the police department told us they were oblivious to a large backhoe and dozens of scrappers who have been aggressively tearing apart the asbesto-laden Packard over the past three months.
The video, “My Life,” begins inside the train station, with 50 Cent walking through the graffiti-strewn lobby with a helicopter spotlight shining through the broken windows.
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.
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.
Behind the scenes: Packard Plant is backdrop for post-apocalyptic film starring David Arquette, Lily Cole
Crews spent the morning filming Arquette and actress Lily Cole, who donned an ornate, primitive headpiece and rode a wreath-wearing donkey.
Rows of burned out townhouses and high-rise apartments are decaying, windowless and tagged with graffiti. Broken furniture, garbage and dead trees are strewn across the 30-acre ruins near downtown.
The nation’s first federally funded public housing project for black people is coming down on Detroit’s east-side, removing a behemoth eyesore looming over I-75, Mayor Dave Bing announced today.