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Mich. metals theft bill calls for more policing, registry

Keywords: Tags  Responsible Recyclers Association, RRA, Michigan lawmakers, Eileen Kowall, Phil Cavanagh, metals theft, scrap, Nathan Laliberte

NEW YORK — Legislators in Michigan have introduced three bills to the state House of Representatives aimed at combatting metals theft.

The bills, introduced by Rep. Eileen Kowall (R., District 44) and Rep. Phil Cavanagh (D., District 17), allocate additional resources to law enforcement agencies dealing with the issue.

"The bills respond to the most prevalent complaint heard across the state regarding the metal theft epidemic: the lack of law enforcement resources to combat metal theft, or even to respond to the telephone calls reporting metal theft in progress," the Detroit-based Responsible Recyclers Association (RRA) said.

The bill also calls for state police to develop an offenders’ registry to assist recyclers in identifying known metals thieves. The registry would be funded by a point-of-sale transaction fee that would be assessed by recyclers.

"The Responsible Recyclers Association conservatively estimates that the collection of transaction fees will generate more than $13 million per year, statutorily earmarked for the exclusive use by law enforcement to deter, investigate and prosecute metal theft perpetrators," the group said. "This would enable the hiring of hundreds of law enforcement officers statewide devoted exclusively to combating metal theft."

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