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East Peoria lawmaker sponsors bill to curb metal theft

Wed, 28 Mar 2012 09:20:35 CDT

Thieves looking to cash in on the high value of copper could have a harder time selling it in Illinois, on account of a measure approved yesterday in the Illinois House.   Republican Representative Mike Unes says it's happening in his hometown of East Peoria, with vandals going as far as stealing plaques off veterans' gravestones:


"So those men and women who fought for our freedom, their gravesites haven't even been safe. Imagine the family members that have to live through seeing their loved ones' graves affected by this very serious problem."
Unes is sponsor of a measure that increases penalties for those who steal copper and other recyclable metals. The proposal also seeks to cut off the market for stolen metals.   Dealers would have to keep track of all purchases, including keeping a record of the seller's driver's license. They couldn't accept materials like cemetery plaques, street signs and manhole covers. Earlier this month someone caused one hundred thousand dollars in damage to the White Oaks Mall in Springfield after they ripped copper wires from air conditioning units.

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