House Bill 144 (HB 144) creates the crime of damage to property by theft of certain metals, utility covers, guard rails, signs, or catalytic converters.
House Bill 144 (HB 144) enacts a new section of the Criminal Code that creates the fourth-degree crime of criminal damage to property by theft or attempted theft of certain “regulated materials”, when it results in damage to property (real or personal) that costs more than $2,500 to repair. The bill requires that a person guilty of this offense provide restitution to the owner of the regulated material and to the owner of the property damaged by the theft.
“Regulated material” is defined as: aluminum, bronze, copper/brass, steel, lead, a utility access cover, a water meter cover, a road/bridge guard rail, a highway/street sign, a traffic sign/signal, or a catalytic converter that is not part of an entire motor vehicle. The bill provides further definitions of the metals. For example, “aluminum material” includes an aluminum beer keg, but does not include aluminum cans; “bronze material” includes a cemetery vase; “copper material” includes copper wire that consists of at least 25% copper, or a copper item used in construction or public utility or radio service carriers; “lead material” includes a lead-acid battery; “steel material” includes a stainless-steel beer keg.