Illinois lawmakers are trying to crack down on copper thieves. A measure that passed the House would require scrap yards to record every sale worth more than $100 and to pay with checks instead of cash. Supporters say that would help the state track down suspected copper thieves. State Rep. Michael Unes (R-East Peoria) says it’s a growing problem.
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“This is a problem that’s so serious and occurring in so much detail that it’s a serious enough problem that it requires a serious enough approach such as this,” Unes says. Unes says some thieves cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage when stealing copper, but only gain a couple hundred dollars from the sale. Although he voted for the bill, State Rep. Bob Pritchard (R-Hinckley) says it could harm businesses. “It just seems like we’re adding extra costs for businesses who may deal with scavengers who may have something in the $100 to $300 range and we’re adding that,” Pritchard says. The measure passed the House unanimously and will be sent to the Senate for consideration.