Aggressive scrap metal collectors steal from yards, some Winnipeggers say – Manitoba

Some people in Winnipeg say scrap collectors, who cruise alleys for metal items left in the trash, are becoming aggressive and stealing from yards.

Driven by high prices for metal, which can be cashed in for tax-free money, many scrap collectors pile up pickup trucks with material — patio tables, major appliances, bicycles, car parts — all held in by sheets of plywood surrounding the truck box.

“If they can make a buck off it, they’ll take it if it’s not nailed down, and that’s sad,” said Elise Rea, whose son had a metal-framed basketball stand swiped from their driveway in Transcona a little while ago.

It was against the fence, nowhere near the edge of the lane where the garbage bins go, she said.

More recently, someone came in the yard and took Rea’s steel firepit and a metal shovel. Both were near her fence and shed, hidden from the lane by a bush.

Her kids discovered the theft when they went to roast marshmallows.

“If somebody leaves stuff by the garbage and it’s clearly garbage, take it, but you don’t go into people’s properties to find things to take,” she said, adding she has also chased scrap collectors away from her neighbours’ yards.

‘These guys are getting pretty aggressive’

One neighbour across the lane restores old cars while the guy next to him repairs muscle cars. As a result, there are often parts in the yards.

“Some of them are hard to get, especially when the cars are from the ’50s and ’60s,” Rea said.

“I saw these guys way back in the yard, pulling things out. I went back there and was like, ‘Whoa, whoa, whoa, what are you guys doing?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, we’re just taking the metal.’

“I said, ‘That is not scrap. It is not by the garbage. It is hidden far back in the yard.'”

One of Elise Rea’s neighbours had to build an eight-foot-tall fence at the end of his garage to keep scrappers from combing through car parts he stores in his yard. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

She told them to return it, along with…

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