Thieves Giving Veteran Metal Scrappers and Salvagers A Bad Name

Reported by: James Mahon
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Updated: 4/07 9:54 am
EAST TN, (WDEF)- It's a busy day at All Metal Salvage in Cleveland as cars, trucks and trailers arrive from across east Tennessee.
     But in recent months owner Mike Hodnett says they are dealing with thieves not salvagers.

"The first person who had to go to jail stole 17 dollars worth"

He says people are stealing metal and bringing it to their yard and others in the hope of making a quick buck.
      He says some clients try to swindle and outsmart metal yards .

"There's a lot of different things sometimes they will do, they will try and put blocks in the refrigerators, they will fill up their water heaters full of water just to get more weight, i guess there's that stuff in every business"

Salvagers and scrappers say those who steal metal from others homes or from metal yards are giving them a bad name.

June Parker, Cleveland Resident, "A lot of thefts around there and i don't think people should be stealing what don't belong to them, be honest, attend to your own and leave others alone"

"Everything from a can to a car  can be bought and sold here in Cleveland and it ranges from 2cents right up to 15,000 dollars.

For others its about finding a good deal when times are tough.

Charles Howard, Best Choice Automotive, Cleveland, TN,"I make okay money i obviously try to help the customer out as much as i can, people that only have 400 or 500 dollar cars, they really don't have that much money"

At John's Recycling in Chattanooga they say scrapping metal also helps the environment.

John Burger,"It keeps stuff from being thrown away like you said or being just dumped somewhere else, we recycle everything, we recycle gas, we recycle the oil, we recycle parts on the cars, all that gets used in some form or fashion before we even take it to the scrap yard"

Burger says the number of scrappers has grown every year since he has been open.

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