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Council Delays Vote On Converter Theft Ordinance By One Week

Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird at Monday's City Council Meeting, presenting her latest Mayor's Award of Excellence to Steve Harris, gardener with the City Parks and Recreation Department for his work at Union Plaza.

Lincoln, NE (September 13, 2021)  The Lincoln City Council has delayed for one more week a vote on an ordinance aimed at cutting down the sale of catalytic converters stolen from vehicles. Thieves have been removing the converters from cars and trucks, and assistant police chief Brian Jackson says the problem is growing.

“We’re over 550 so far this year.  That doubles last year’s numbers already, and last year was about three times more than the previous year.”

Jackson said it’s a hard crime to fight.

“The problem being, these occur all across the City of Lincoln, and they can occur on any vehicle that’s parked on a parking lot, in a street, or in an apartment lot, so the opportunity exists, and it’s hard to focus down because they’re happening everywhere.”

Jackson said discussions with scrap dealers are close to yielding an agreement on the new regulations.

Bob Ellis of Alter Scrap told the City Council Monday that his company, and their major competitor, Sadoff Iron and Metal, both want to help.

“We aren’t the kind of companies that want to do anything that’s going to help anybody who’s stealing anything from anybody.  That’s first and foremost, because we wouldn’t have been around 123 years, Sadoff wouldn’t have been around 70 or 80 years without doing things the right way.”

Steve Napoleon of Sadoff Iron and Metal agreed, and told the Council his company is losing business to shady operators also.

“Lot of these are going out of the City, and it’s hard to control, but there is kind of a black market, core buyers out there.  It’s one man in a truck and they’re going from place to place, paying cash for these, and these guys are coming into town and they’re taking business away from Sadoff and Alter.”

The Council heard agreement between Police and scrap dealers that negotiations are going well, but need more time to work out details and differences and agree on the language of the new ordinance.  A vote is scheduled for next week’s Council meeting.


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