Scrap metal theft is a big problem for dealers and auto recyclers across the country. Metal prices have spiked in the last five years or so, especially copper prices.
That means thieves are willing to go to greater lengths to steal. Sawyer Iron and Metal says someone tried to sell them scrap metal earlier this year that had been stolen from the former ‘W’ building.
They take a common–sense approach to stop thieves. Don Houghton, Sr. says he’s careful about what he accepts and how much. If there is any doubt about the legitimacy of the ownership of the metal, he questions them.
Michigan State Police say copper theft from older homes that are either abandoned or are for sale is very common. And they sometimes see a different kind of scrap metal theft. MSP trooper, Sgt. Kevin Dowling says thieves sometimes steal car parts, specifically catalytic convertors, for their precious metals.
Sawyer Iron and Metal says they keep a shotgun on the premises in case someone tries to steal their metal. However, we didn’t ask to see it.