Metal Theft

Written by David Green.

Thefts of copper and other valuable metals would be drastically reduced under legislation passed by the Michigan Senate.

“Copper thieves have targeted the agricultural community with many farmers losing thousands of dollars in equipment,” said state representative Cameron Brown, a co-sponsor of the bill. “The 16th District in particular has been especially hard hit by damage to irrigation systems. It is time to get tough on those committing these crimes.”

Senate Bill 1114 would establish new penalties for stealing copper and other metals. Penalties would be assessed based on the value of the property stolen. This includes the replacement cost of the stolen metal, the cost of repairing the damage caused by the theft, or the total of both of these amounts, whichever is greatest.

SB 1358 would create the Nonferrous Metal Regulatory Act to establish requirements for dealers and sellers of valuable metals and prescribe penalties for violations.

Sellers would be required to present the dealer with a picture ID, allow the dealer to make a photocopy of it and also allow the dealer to make a thumbprint for identification and investigation purposes.

Under the legislation, dealers would be required to:

• Create an accurate, legible record of each purchase transaction and retain the database for at least a year;

• Register with or subscribe to an Internet-based database available to dealers, law enforcement agencies and general public that lists and tracks thefts of nonferrous metal and articles containing nonferrous metals; and

● Pay a seller by check, electronic transfer, ATM card or bar code, or other method capable of being traced from the dealer to the seller.

Buying or selling nonferrous metal articles, if it was known they were stolen, would be a felony punishable by up to five years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.

“These bills will make it that much harder for criminals to profit from stealing valuable metals and give law enforcement more tools to help deal with this growing crime,” Brown said.

The bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016