In Mayfair and Holme Circle, residents are battling brazen scrappers who are not only taking scrap metal from curbside garbage but also right from people’s yards.
Scrappers are defined as those who take scrap metal from curbside garbage and recycling and sell the metal to scrap yards for a few extra bucks. Pick-up trucks with make-shift walls that keep in as much scrap metal as possible are most often seen driving throughout the Mayfair and Holme Circle areas the night before trash day but have also been seen the day after trash day and even on the weekends.
“We are certain that most are honest, hard-working people just trying to make a living,” said Elsie Stevens, the Holme Circle Civic Association president. “The problem is that some are so brazen that they are walking up to the front of folks’ homes and stealing.”
The problem has increased during the last year. The items that most often go missing include grills, children’s’ toys or bikes, and metal lawn furniture.
An increase in stolen copper downspouts last summer prompted police action to catch the culprits.
Now, both the Mayfair Civic Association and Holme Circle Civic Association are handing out awareness flyers to scrappers in a mild-mannered way.
“These flyers tell the scrappers they’re being watched, so they stop doing things they shouldn’t be doing,” said Milt Matelack, a member of Mayfair Town Watch.
Mayfair Town Watch also started a closed Facebook group called Mayfair Scrapper Database that is a ‘non-accusatory’ list of spotted scrappers in the area. The page specifies, “feel free to share information on the scrappers who you witnessed stealing as well.” Members of the group can post information such as license plates of a truck or pictures of witnessed scrappers. The Scrapper Database is mostly used to alert the community of known scrappers in the area, which allows more residents to be wary if they see an unfamiliar face.
Since the flyers and “Mayfair Scrapper Database” began, the problems have decreased but residents are still looking for a better solution.
At the Mayfair Civic Association meeting on Sept. 16, State Representative John Taylor announced that he would look into possible legislation that would further deter scrappers from stealing. This would include new laws for scrap metal yards, a license to recycle scrap, or an ordinance only allowing scrappers to come around on trash nights.
“I want to hear from all of you on what we can do to make the problem go away,” Taylor said.
Scrappers who were sought out to provide additional information on the situation in the community declined to comment for this article.
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