City of Industry, Calif., has agreed to extend its support for the industrial plastics theft task force, probably through Feb. 28. The initial one-year trial program was slated to end Aug. 31.
“The program came in under budget, and we will extend the time frame unless the funds run out,” said Kevin Radecki, city manager.
Originally, the city council authorized an expenditure of $1.2 million for task-force-related services from five members of the Los Angeles sheriff's department, Radecki said.
“There is enough money to continue on,” he said.
During 11 months in Southern California, members of the task force have made 47 arrests, closed 26 illicit storage and grinding sites and recovered intact and granulated plastic products that were returned to the owners, said Sgt. Nabeel Mitry, task force supervisor. Value of the recoveries: more than $6 million.
In a report on its July activities, the task force said it checked code compliance at 22 businesses.
“As a result, $142,740 in intact, stolen, trademarked plastic products were recovered and returned to various victimized companies,” Mitry said.
Concern exists for the program in the long term. “The future of the task force will need to be addressed, in part during an upcoming meeting with respective company representatives,” Mitry said in a message to operators of plastic processing businesses.
“The meeting will address various issues, primarily future funding and support,” he said.
With operations ongoing for now, “please continue to relay all your information and concerns to me or any member of the dedicated task force,” he said.
Usually, the task force recovers intact or granulated plastic pallets, trays, shelves, baskets, milk crates or collapsible totes that have been stolen from loading docks behind groceries, pizza shops, bakeries, restaurants, beverage companies or shipping/receiving stores.