SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — A proposal at the Illinois State Capitol would cut down on stolen scrap metal in Illinois.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports, the sponsor, state Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) says the theft of $100 worth of scrap can cause thousands of dollars in damage to a home.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Dahl reports

“The damage caused by the thieves in these recyclable thefts is far, far exceeding the value of the scrap metal stolen, and this bill takes a very comprehensive approach of solving a very serious problem,” Unes said.

The Recyclable Metal Purchase Registration Law (HB 3825) restricts the sale of recyclable metal, and attempts to hold thieves accountable for the damage the thefts cause.

Specifically, the bill requires all purchases of recyclable metal to be recorded, instead of only purchases over $100 or more as is currently the case. Dealers must ask where sellers obtained their scrap metal, and must immediately contact police if they suspect someone is trying to sell them stolen goods.

Through an amendment, the bill also creates a new criminal offense of theft of recyclable metal.

The bill has also passed out of committee in the Illinois State House. It has also gained 36 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle.

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