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ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–The rush to pass a new law to stop scrap metal theft is now on hold — in order to coordinate the law with surrounding counties.
“We’re doing this because we want to make a tighter bill with better teeth in it,” said sponsoring alderwoman Donna Baringer. “And so, what we’re going to do is instead of introducing the bill just for the city of St. Louis, we’re actually going to work with the St. Louis County Council and the metro east.”
The decision comes after a series of public hearing on scrap metal theft in St. Louis. Property owners have testified about well-organized thieves stealing gutters, indoor copper plumbing, air conditioner coils, even lawnmowers. Many have urged the the board of aldermen to act quickly, saying they can’t sell or rehab homes, because thieves who know which properties are vacant are systematically stripping the city of metal.
Baringer at first had hoped to have a bill on Mayor Slay’s desk in a matter of weeks. Now, she says the timetable is pushed back until late September to allow time to coordinate a regional approach.
“If we work together as one, then when this goes into effect we don’t have to worry about someone stealing scrap metal going to Illinois or St. Louis County to sell it,” Baringer said.