PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Crooks in Providence are ripping through abandoned buildings for scrap metal, and residents' tax dollars are paying for the damage.
City Councilman Michael Correia informed Eyewitness News that thieves are picking through and subsequently damaging empty homes, and all for just a few dollars worth of copper.
"I am angry that this is happening in Ward 6," he said. "There are other means to get money. Find a job."
These types of thefts have occurred in his ward about half a dozen times in just the last two months. The crooks get away with a few dollars worth of scrap metal, while the city is left with securing the building and the potential buyers.
"You are probably looking at about $50,000 in work that needs to be done to this home," Correia said.
The city is facing issues getting an upper hand on the problem, from banks refusing to press charges to scrap metal yards continually accepting the goods.
"When you come in with half a dozen covers, you know something is wrong here," added Correia. "The scrap yards also need to step up to the plate."
City leaders are hoping a new ordinance will keep this type of destruction at bay. We're told the ordinance would require scrap metal yards to hold items such as manhole covers, boilers, and copper piping for a period of ten days before scrapping them, as well as stricter identification requirements for those trying to sell those types of items. The city council is expected to discuss it at a meeting this week.
Copyright WPRI 12
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