Flint officials crackdown on scrap metal theft

New billboards are going up across the city reminding neighbors of the penalties of scrap metal theft.

A big billboard with a bold message is going up around town---illegally scrap and you will pay the price.

â??The scrappers have demolished our city,â?? says Terry Hanson. Heâ??s all too familiar with scrap metal theft.

â??I know it firsthand, we see it everyday,â?? says Hanson who heads up the Genesee County Landlords Association. â??Everyday when you see a property that's vacant and doesn't have an alarm on it, they take whatever's metal,â?? he adds,

The vacant business down the street was dismantled by scrapers in one weekend--leaving behind a huge mess.

â??The thieves came in and took the whole building---the metal and made off with it and left a pile of debris down there,â?? says Hanson.

City officials say that's why they're reminding neighbors of the 90 days in jail penalty.

â??No longer be in fear to not make a report when you see somebody doing something unlawful that is actually making the value of the community go down,â?? says Wantwaz Davis, who represents Flintâ??s 5th ward.

If caught illegal scrapers could have their cars seized and get their names added to a no-scrapping list.

â??That's what we're committed to. We're going to make these calls and find out if these people are scrapping and they will be brought to the full justice of this ordinance,â?? says James Tolbert, Flintâ??s police chief.

â??It makes us feel very good that they're going to cut down of the theft,â?? adds Hanson.