Mich. authorities push for tougher scrap metal sale laws

Mich. authorities continue the push for tougher scrap metal sale laws

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(WJBK) -

Law enforcement officials in Michigan are joining forces trying to get tougher laws that crack down on the sale of scrap metal.

The plan is to go after the quick, hassle free payout thieves get from scrap yards, but lawmakers have all but gutted the bill that would solve that problem.

The Detroit Crime Commission wrote the original version of the bill, requiring payment for metal to be mailed or wired to a bank account.

They say that proposal didn't go over too well.

"The scrap metal industry went berserk. They didn't want that, and a compromise was a three day hold on payment where the guy could actually come back in three days and get the payment. That was the compromise. When it went to the Senate that got stripped out," says Andy Arena of the Detroit Crime Commission.

The hole on payment would make tracking down thieves easier for law enforcement. Now, they're urging business owners to step up.

"Become part of the solution of this. Help us help you, and help our community," says Detroit Police Chief James Craig.

In the meantime, authorities are doing they're part to crackdown on scrap yards that enable scrap metal theft.

The Oakland Co. Sheriff's Office says in Pontiac nearly 160 theft cases were reported in 2013 alone. The Detroit Police Department says in the past month its filed four felony charges against three different scrap yards.

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