DETROIT (WWJ) -- Tougher state laws on scrap metal thieves are not having the impact on illegal scrapping in Detroit that officials hoped for.
Regina Brown, a member of Landmark Church of God in Christ, said that their building on John R. near 8 Mile was robbed twice in one week.
"So now we have to replace this because we have to have hot water," Brown said. "You have to have that to run this business. We're going to be feeding so we have to have things running and in order."
Brown said that they hope to replace some pipes to their hot water tank before Thanksgiving so they can hold their annual dinner for the community. In the first heist, thieves took a drum set.
"They went into our storage where we have clothing to clothe the community," Brown said. "They went in there and they began to cut some copper pipes."
Scrap metal thieves swiped piping from some fast food restaurant bathrooms in Detroit, forcing the businesses to install protective boxes.
Police also say they have arrested three people allegedly responsible for stealing scrap metal from an old school building on Detroit's west side.
"It's horrible -- we just lost our pastor and for them to and for them to do this to us," Brown said. "We love the community here. We're going to be feeding on Thanksgiving morning and it hurts us that someone in the community would do this to us."
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