via Wkyc:

We now know that illegal scrapping was the cause of the home explosion in East Cleveland on June 10th, but just how big of a problem is it?

Sgt. Andrew Ezzo is on the environmental crimes task force with the Cleveland Police. “It’s a never-ending story,” he said. “It’s a battle that’s going to be tough to win.”

The battle is against thieves looting places for metal and selling it to scrap yards and it’s an uphill one. “It’s a huge problem, said Sgt. Ezzo. “The state of Ohio has led the nation in scrap theft since 2014.”

New legislation and new systems have helped to bring the numbers down, but as prices for scrap goes up, so do the crimes. Perhaps no one knows that more than JBI Scrap Processors in Cleveland, which has been the victim of scrap theft so often, the owners have lost count. In fact, thieves have stolen from the business twice in the last week.

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