Metal theft bill hung up despite push by legislative leaders

Mar 15, 2014

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Five years after Michigan targeted copper thefts plaguing cities like Detroit and disrupting railroads and utilities, plans to better restrict sales of stolen scrap metal are caught in a legislative fight.

Lawmakers are generally in agreement over giving law enforcement more tools to crack down on the problem.

But a provision to make people wait three days for payment for copper wire, air conditioners and catalytic converters is angering scrap buyers and dividing legislators.

The House has approved the three-day waiting period. The Senate has OK'd an industry-created database of purchases instead.

Leaders in Lansing remain hopeful a compromise is within reach this month. Both Gov. Rick Snyder and new Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan are calling for action on an issue that's been worked on for more than 21/2 years.