Scrap yard probe in Flint

Copper thefts from substations have caused Consumers Energy to offer a reward for information leading to an arrest. / Mike Horne

S ome area scrap yards are under investigation for possibly taking part in illegal scrapping.

T he Flint city council wants to know why these yards have been buying stolen materials, some of which belong to the city.

In one F lint neighborhood full of burned down homes, scrappers usually comb through the ashes and collect precious metals.

Flint resident Damian Ayala says, "T he house will just be getting put out and they'll be pulling up right when the fire truck leaves just to throw the scrap and they already know the house was on fire and everything."

B ut the practice is illegal.

Thieves are even going a step further lately by stealing man hole covers, and copper from sub - stations and selling it for cash.

City councilman Sheldon Neeley says, "C onsumer power (Energy) has been hit several times putting tens of thousands of people out of power for several hours."

N eeley wants to know why area scrap yards are buying stolen metals. He says many of the manhole covers sold actually have 'City of Flint' stamped on them, yet the yards continue to buy them.

Neeley continues, "S ome of the scrap yards in the city of flint are known to have illegal property, property that's been stolen from the city of Flint."

A full investigation is now underway.

B oth J & S and Spooner Metals declined our requests for interviews but councilman Neeley says he is looking to crackdown on illegal scrapping saying, "This community cannot have businesses forming illegal activity inside the boundaries of the city of Flint."