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      Lawmakers crack down on scrap metal theft

      Lawmakers have introduced a new package of bills to stop scrap metal theft.

      Rep. Jim Ananich, state officials and other community members are supporting what they said is a growing problem in Mid-Michigan.

      This bipartisan legislation comes after multiple companies, homes and churches were vandalized.

      "The vandalism is quit extensive. I lost a little over 11 units. Some vandalized three times already, so the replacement value today is a little over $200,000," said Senior Pastor Patrick Sanders from New Jerusalem Full Gospel Baptist Church in Genesee Township.

      In minutes, people can steal catalytic converters, air conditioning units and any metal thieves can get their hands on.

      However one man said he has witnessed multiple thefts, told authorites and nothing happened.

      "I personally have called three times this years when they were stealing siding off houses. . . and nothing ever happened," responded Terry Hanson the Executive Director of the Genesee Landlord Association.

      With the new bills there will be stronger tools for law enforcement. As well as training for supervisors at scrap metal dealerships, on how to identify and prevent the buying of banned items.

      If dealers know they are purchasing stolen metal, they could face five years in jail and a $5,000 fine.

      In October, Flint City Council revolked the license of one scrap metal yard and the forced another to pay $10,000 to a scrap metal enforcement fund.