The push for tougher scrap metal laws in Mich.

The push for tougher scrap metal laws in Mich.

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(WJBK) -

The Detroit Crime Commission is leading the push for tougher scrap metal laws in Michigan.

Executive Director Andrew Arena Spoke with FOX 2's Robin Murdoch Friday and said he plans to travel to Lansing next week to present his research to lawmakers, hoping to persuade them to stiffen the laws.

"It's kind of the circle of death. It's violent; it's blight; it's scrapping; it's illegal dumping; and it's destroying the city of Detroit," says Arena.

Arena says he sent a letter to every Michigan lawmaker pleading the case.
 
The House recently proposed a bill that would give police a window to investigate metal thefts. It also included a delay in the payment of that scrap metal. The Senate would rather create an industry-wide database.
 
"There are those in the scrap metal industry who, with a wink and a nod and plausible deniability, want to continue to be able to deal with stolen property. And I think a good, solid bill will cause them to not be able to do that," Arena says.
 
Cities like Detroit are already taking measures to combat copper thieves. This week crews started installing LED street lights on the city's east side containing no copper whatsoever.
 
"We will have our neighborhoods done by the end of April. We'll have the main thoroughfares in this area done by the end of June," says Mayor Mike Duggan.
 
It's a small step in curbing scarp metal crime here while state lawmakers continue to work on the bigger picture that should get clearer in the weeks to come.

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