Environment
3:16 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

Thieves are stealing material from abandoned Flint houses

Thieves in Flint are stealing copper pipes, aluminum sidings, indoor fixtures, and appliances from vacant houses. They are taking the material to scrap dealers for quick cash.

Doug Weiland is with the Genesee County Land Bank. He says Flint lost over 70,000 jobs due to the downsizing of the auto industry.

"So the city of Flint’s population is literally about half of what it was at its peak, and we have roughly half of the property that had been used in the past sitting vacant."

Weiland says with vacant homes and a high unemployment rate, criminals see an opportunity to break into abandoned houses and steal material. There are roughly 8,000 abandoned homes in the city of Flint.