Under a new law to fight copper theft in Michigan, not only are scrap dealers forbidden to pay sellers in cash, but any transaction of $25 or more requires that the check be mailed. That check has to be sent to the address on the seller’s legal I.D., not to a post office box.
“Michigan is in the midst of a serious metal theft problem,” State Rep. Paul Muxlow, the bill’s sponsor, declared at an April 10 bill signing ceremony, noting that “stolen utility wires” are part of the problem.
The law, which took effect immediately, requires dealers to take a digital photo and thumbprint of metal sellers. Failure to comply with the law subjects a dealer to fines ranging from $500 for a first offense to $1,000 for a second offense and $5,000 for all subsequent violations.
“We cannot allow metal thieves to damage our homes, farms, utilities, businesses, schools and other public properties,” said Gov. Rick Snyder, who signed the bill nearly a year to the day that Muxlow introduced it.
Also at the bill signing was State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, who represents Detroit and has had two catalytic converters stolen off her car.
“I’m looking forward—tremendously looking forward—to the actual enforcement of these changes,” said Tlaib.