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Government

Kansas Senate Passes Bill Stiffening Scrap Theft Penalties

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Tom Woodward, flickr Creative Commons
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Penalties for Kansas scrap theft would rise significantly under a bill passed unanimously by the state Senate.

Senators said during debate on Thursday that scrap thieves often cause thousands of dollars in damage by removing metal components from equipment.

The bill would make scrap theft a level-six felony, putting repeat offenders behind bars. It also would create a scrap database to help authorities track down offenders and punish dealers trading in stolen goods.

Lawmakers objected to an earlier version that would have made scrap theft a level-five felony and put first-time offenders behind bars for 11 to 34 months.

First-time offenders without prior convictions would get probation under the amended version.

Thursday's move sends the measure to the state House for consideration.