FINALLY Cracking Down on Milk Crate Thieves

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I’m glad someone is finally taking a stand against college kids who want to make cheap coffee tables.

Representative Michael F. Kane, a Holyoke Democrat, is pushing for the crackdown on milk-crate thieves, or, translated into legislativese, anyone who “intentionally removes a plastic bulk merchandise container that is used by a product producer, distributor, or retailer or agent thereof which is used as a means for the bulk transportation, storage, or carrying of retail containers of milk . . . with the intention of permanently depriving the merchant of the possession, use, or benefit of such container.”

Inspired by complaints from several retailers and dairy suppliers, Kane said, his bill would set a sliding scale of fines for first, second, and third offenses, all the way up to $1,000 and a year in prison for stealing more than $100 worth of crates.

“These crates have been used for many years in college dorms for basically storage and furniture,” Kane said. “Obviously, I don’t want to see any college students going to jail over this, but it is becoming a cost to the industry.” Kane is hoping the measure will come up for a hearing in the Judiciary Committee this winter.

Massachusetts must be a paradise, if this is what the legislature is acting on.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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