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Unes holds press conference on Lincoln tomb copper theft

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State Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) discusses his copper theft legislation, House Bill 3825, in front of the Lincoln Tomb, where a copper sword of a Civil War General was recently stolen. The sword is the only copper piece on the bronze memorial statue located on the exterior of the Lincoln Tomb.   

East Peoria, Ill. —

State Rep. Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) said the passage of his legislation aimed to end the rash of copper theft can no longer wait after the issue reached a new height when a historical copper sword was stolen from a statue at Lincoln’s Tomb.

Rep. Unes was joined by a representative of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency at a press conference Nov. 14 at Lincoln’s Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery to discuss HB 3825 aimed at reining in the recent rash of copper and recyclable metal thefts throughout Illinois.

“It is despicable that this issue has now interrupted the resting place of one of our country’s most admirable presidents, Abraham Lincoln. It is a disgrace that copper theft is now affecting some our most historical sites,” said Unes.

Rep. Unes hosted a press conference in the 91st District regarding this issue last month after filing the bill in October. According to the Tazewell County Sheriff’s Office, more than three dozen instances of theft of copper and other valuable recyclable materials occurred this year in Tazewell County.

Some of the provisions of the bill include:
• A recyclable metal dealer will no longer pay cash in payment for any air conditioner or evaporator coil or condenser. This also includes any copper, including copper tubing or wiring.  Instead of cash, the payment must be made by check.

• A recyclable metal dealer will keep records of all purchases of recyclable metal, rather than only those with a value of greater than $100, and it will increase the time from two to three years that these dealers must keep the transaction records.

• A recyclable metal dealer will not purchase or attempt to purchase the following: materials that are clearly marked as property belonging to a business; property associated with use by government, utilities or railroads, such as guardrails, manholes covers, street signs and more; and cemetery plaques.

“This bill is good for small business, residential, the insurance industry, farmers and especially helpful to law enforcement,” said Unes.

For more information, please contact Rep. Unes’ office at 620-8631.


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