Battle against illegal scrapping gains support

(WXYZ) - For Pastor Keith Hill, the battle against scrappers is now officially mind boggling.

It was bad enough that criminals stripped the old school he wanted to transform into a community center.

Now what he can’t understand is why a bill that could stop illegal scrapping is being tied up in the Michigan state legislature.

"I'd go to Lansing myself to tell them if it would help" says Hill.

You first met Pastor Hill last week on Action News when we he gave our cameras a tour of his demolished dream in the Brightmoor section of Detroit.

Since our report last week, there’s been a groundswell of support to pass a bill in Lansing eliminating instant cash payments for copper wiring, catalytic converters, and air conditioning units.

From Mayor Mike Duggan lobbying in Lansing to leaders in law enforcement calling press conferences, demand for action out is growing. Michigan State Police are also on board.

"Right off the bat, reducing the thief's ability to get instant cash is key no matter what piece of legislation comes through" says Sgt. Amy Dehner.

State Senator Mike Kowall from White Lake has been outspoken from the start.

In our first interview, he said he was opposed to a three day hold on payment for the three most commonly stolen items.

"The three day delay payment would mean they have to hire extra people just to handle that" said Kowall.

But now it appears the senator is changing his tune. Facing tough questions from our own Carolyn Clifford, Kowall said he would now support mailing a check and eliminating instant cash.

He blames any holdup on mistakes like "there were some spelling errors and punctuation in the wrong place."

But what about the gridlock and senators who said no the first time?

"I haven't spoken to anyone yet who says they are going to vote "no" on it," he says. He adds "when we go back on Tuesday I'm hoping that we get the bill back from the house so we can concur with it and get it signed into law."

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