Plastics theft task force running out of funding

By Roger Renstrom
Correspondent

Published: July 23, 2013 12:33 pm ET
Updated: July 23, 2013 12:34 pm ET

Related to this story

Topics Public Policy, Government & Legislation, Legal

A focused Southern California effort to stem theft of trademarked plastic pallets, milk crates and collapsible totes appears ready to grind to a halt for lack of private and public funding.

Over 23 months, the plastic industrial theft task force of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s department has recovered and returned products valued at nearly $7.4 million, made 74 arrests and shut down 30 illegal polymer storage and granulation sites. Investigations and seizures disrupted numerous organized theft rings.

Sgt. Nabeel Mitry, task force coordinator, gave an example of the ripple effect. “If we bust an illegal grinding operation, that may involve intact product with a value of $100,000. That product would have been ground today and replaced by another $100,000 of product tomorrow.”

With each bust, “we take down a substantial ongoing operation,” Mitry told Plastics News.

Task force funding from the City of Industry, however, is scheduled to end July 31.

“Please continue to thank the [city officials] for their unprecedented support and funding and in leading the way,” Mitry said in a message to interested individuals. “You can’t thank them enough.”

The city council authorized spending $1.2 million for the task force beginning in September 2011. An extension added about $300,000 to carry the program to the end of July, one month into the city’s next fiscal year. The task force operates from a sheriff’s station in City of Industry and, monthly, has costs of about $60,000.

“My hope was to get funded by various entities and continue,” Mitry said. “I would have liked to see funding from businesses. They should be motivated to see the program continue.”

The task force has forwarded cases involving theft and possession of stolen property to prosecutors’ offices in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties with achievement of felony filings in 95 percent of the cases.

As a measurement of effort expended, the task force of five sheriff’s investigators and a postal inspector conducted 26 separate investigations during June.

Mitry and others have explained the value of the task force’s program to many of the private businesses that have recovered product. Several corporations contributed about $36,000 in 2012, but none has offered an ongoing stream of revenue.

Mitry has appealed to top administrators in Sheriff Lee Baca’s office, municipal members of the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and other officials such as U.S. Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-El Monte) and California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris. None has assured new funding.

“My fear is that it will return to what it was” without the deterrence of the task force, Mitry said. “We don’t know how many people [who were] involved in the thefts have stopped. It is probably a lot more than what we caught.”

 


Comments

Plastics theft task force running out of funding

By Roger Renstrom
Correspondent

Published: July 23, 2013 12:33 pm ET
Updated: July 23, 2013 12:34 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

SPI hopes to build on EPS recycling

November 26, 2014 6:00 am ET

Successfully recycling expanded polystyrene can be a challenge, there's no doubt about that. EPS, however, has value, is in demand and deserves to be ...    More

Image

Indian plastics group targets waste

November 24, 2014 12:46 pm ET

An Indian plastics environmental group and the country's largest brand for packaged water, Bisleri International Pvt. Ltd., have launched a trial...    More

Image

Wilbur Ross steps down from IAC board

November 24, 2014 11:38 am ET

Financier Wilbur Ross Jr. has resigned from the boards of International Automotive Components Group SA and its subsidiaries due to new regulatory...    More

Image

EU sets consumption goal of 40 plastic bags per person by 2025

November 24, 2014 9:27 am ET

Representatives of European Union member states hammered out a deal Nov. 21 to reduce consumption of lightweight plastic bags to 40 bags per person...    More

Image

Residents ask court to close pipe maker

November 21, 2014 3:22 pm ET

Residents living by National Pipe & Plastics Inc.'s new factory in an industrial zone of Endicott, N.Y., say the facility has “devastated the ne...    More

Market Reports

Plastics Caps & Closures Market Report

The annual recap of top trends and future outlook for the plastics caps & closures market features interviews with industry thought leaders and Bill Wood’s economic forecast of trends in growing end markets. You will also gain insight on trends in caps design, materials, machinery, molds & tooling and reviews of mergers & acquisitions.

Learn more

Plastics Recycling Trends in North America

This report is a review and analysis of the North American Plastics Recycling Industry, including key trends and statistics based on 2013 performance. We examine market environment factors, regulatory issues, industry challenges, key drivers and emerging trends in post-consumer and post-industrial recycling.

Learn more

Plastics in Mexico - State of the Industry Report

This report analyzes the $20 billion plastics industry in Mexico including sales of machinery & equipment, resins and finished products.

Our analysts provide insight on business trends, foreign investment, top end markets and plastics processing activity. The report also provides important data on exports, production, employment and value of plastics products manufactured.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

January 14, 2015 - January 14, 2015Plastics in Automotive

February 4, 2015 - February 6, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

June 2, 2015 - June 3, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - Chicago 2015

September 16, 2015 - September 18, 2015Plastics Caps & Closures - September 2015

October 27, 2015 - October 29, 2015Plastics Financial Summit - New York - 2015

More Events