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Gov. Snyder signs bill to block scrap metal thefts

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation intended to crack down on sales of stolen scrap metal.

Michigan scrapyards that buy copper wire, air conditioners and catalytic converters will only be able to pay sellers by mail for sales of more than $25.

Scrapyards will have to take photos or video of metal they buy. Sellers could only be paid by check or money order, or they could redeem their money at an onsite ATM.

Snyder and Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan called for action on the issue that was worked on for more than 2 1/2 years before legislators struck a deal last month.

Thieves are targeting abandoned dwellings to strip copper wiring and other metal. The number of reported crimes nearly tripled between 2011 and 2012.