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Proposed laws to combat metal theft and home invasions detailed at community meeting

Staff Report
Alabama Political Reporter

MOBILE, Alabama — Legislation to combat metal theft and to raise the penalties for home invasions were among the items presented to a community meeting tonight at Mobile Museum of Art.
The meeting, sponsored by Mobile City Councilwoman Gina Gregory of District 7, brought about 100 residents together at the museum on a rainy night.
Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran and state Sen. Ben Brooks, R-Mobile, told the group that the proposed metal theft bill would forbid the sale of copper A-coils from air conditioners by anyone except licensed contractors.
“A thief can get $20 for an A-coil but might do as much as $3,000 damage to your air conditioner,” Brooks said. “This bill would combine the theft loss and damage loss to determine whether the theft is a felony or misdemeanor.”
Cochran said that the bill would also ban the sale of burned wire, brass cemetery vases, storm drains and manhole covers. It would also require sellers to be photographed and severely limit cash payments for recyclable metals.
A similar effort was introduced to the Legislature last year but failed to pass.
The planned home invasion act would highlight violent break-ins to occupied homes as a Class A felony with a mandatory minimum 10 years to life sentence, Cochran said.
Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich said that her office is actively pursuing bond revocation for criminals who re-offend after making bail for a previous offense.

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