Multiple times a day, Michigan residents are affected by scrap metal theft. Thieves steal catalytic converters, air conditioning units, farmers' tractors, and copper wiring. The stolen goods are then sold to scrap metal yards for quick cash, leaving no paper trail or way for law enforcement to track the thieves. If the Michigan Legislature passes three reform bills (HB 4593, 4594, 4595), scrap metal thieves will have a much harder time selling their stolen goods. Let’s protect Michigan communities and pass these common sense reforms now!
Why Is Scrap Metal Reform Needed in Michigan?
• Michigan is tenth in the nation for the number of scrap metal thefts, costing Michiganders millions of dollars.
• The Detroit-Warren-Livonia metro area has the fifth highest incidence in the nation of scrap metal theft. Vehicle catalytic converters, outdoor air conditioning units and copper wiring are frequently targeted in urban areas.
• This is not just an urban issue – every community is affected across the state; farmers’ tractors and irrigations systems are being stolen as well as copper wires from wind turbines.
• Scrap metal thefts cause public safety hazards when scrappers steal manhole covers, railroad weights, and stop signs. CSX Railways, for example, lost $10,000 to metal thefts in just two months; this would have endangered countless passengers’ lives if it had not been repaired quickly.
A bipartisan coalition led by State Rep. Paul Muxlow (R-Brown City), State Rep. Tlaib (D-Detroit) and State Rep. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) have introduced a package of reform bills, HB 4593-4595, to reduce the ease with which scrap metal thieves can operate. These bills introduce reasonable reforms, such as prohibiting the selling and buying of public fixtures, like bridge guardrails and street light copper wiring. The bills also stipulate that every material brought in be photographed to help ensure that items such as railroad tracks are no longer registered as “500 pounds of iron.” Additionally, sellers who bring in catalytic converters, air conditioning units or copper wiring may only be paid after three days have gone by, either through check mailed to a physical address or direct deposited.
What’s Stalling The Progress?
The Scrap Metal Industry has powerful lobbyists, and the Michigan House Regulatory Reform committee has stalled the bills. The package of bills are now in a “workgroup” for the summer but have no action scheduled at this time.
If you sign this petition, you are telling the Michigan House, Senate & Governor to protect Michigan residents and pass these common sense reforms NOW!
Who Are We?
The SAD City-Wide Coalition is a group of community associations, neighborhood organizations & individuals who have been supporting the effort to create Special Assessment Districts as an option for neighborhoods in Detroit. The Coalition is working with the Detroit City Council and the Mayor’s office to pass a pending city ordinance which will allow neighborhoods to be pro-active in preserving quality of life issues in their targeted areas.
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