Bill designed to give law enforcement agencies tools to combat scrap metal theft.
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has signed into law House Bill 4593, a bill that seeks to provide tools to help law enforcement combat metal theft. Reflecting the damage that scrap metal theft has had in the state, the number of reported metal theft crimes nearly tripled between 2011 and 2012, according to Michigan State Police data. Additionally, according to a National Insurance Crime Bureau study, Michigan ranks 10th in the nation for scrap metal insurance claims.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Paul Muxlow, R-Brown City, has been designed to make it more difficult for people to quickly and easily sell stolen metals. A companion bill, sponsored by then-Rep. Jim Ananich, D-Flint, was signed into law in December 2013.
The new law includes reforms that seek to make it more difficult for criminals to sell the materials, including collecting information from scrap metal sellers at the point of sale to give law enforcement a paper trail. The bill also prohibits cash payment for scrap metal, and payment of more than $25 would be required to be mailed to an address listed on a valid form of identification for copper wiring and pipes, catalytic converters and air conditioners, some of the most commonly stolen materials.
The bill is now Public Act 99 of 2014.
The companion bill, HB 4595—now called Public Act 217 of 2013—makes it a felony for a scrap metal dealer to purchase scrap metal or an item of personal property if the dealer knows that it was stolen. It also would be a felony for a person to sell such metal items to a dealer knowing that the materials were stolen.