Arrest Made In Wissinoming House Collapse

Police say a neighborhood man stole copper piping from a vacant home in the Wissinoming section of Philadelphia, causing a natural gas leak and explosion that leveled the two-story house Saturday afternoon.

Michael Migliaccio, 35, was arrested later that night.

The house on the 4700 block of East Howell Street had been vacant for about a year, and was for sale, according to Philadelphia police.

No major injuries were reported in the collapse.  A fire department dispatcher said crews are still excavating the home to make sure there was no one inside.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/breaking/20130708_Arrest_made_in_Wissinoming_house_collapse.html#Gm5RLYxgOBs1Sdzm.99

Police: $25K In Copper Has Been Stolen From Former Bethlehem Steel Headquarters

A man charged with six burglaries in Bethlehem’s Martin Tower told investigators he was only “exploring” the vacant building, but he was in fact stealing copper, police say.

Repeated thefts of copper from the former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel led to the installation of video and audio recording devices throughout the 21-story building, court records state.

Investigators said those recordings show Erik Michael Hotton, 27, in the building stealing copper, according to an arrest affidavit.  Police say an estimated $25,000 worth of copper has been stolen over the past six weeks.

Hotton, of 927 Tilghman St. in Allentown, is charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, theft and receiving stolen property.  He was sent to Lehigh County Prison under $75,000 bail.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-c-bethlehem-copper-thefts-martin-towners-20121127,0,760997.story

2 Caught Stealing Game Commission Wire In Berks, Police Say

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two men had carted four large rolls of wire to a vehicle at the Port Clinton Fire Tower in eastern Berks County on Thursday when state police arrived and arrested them, police said.

Edward M. Matalavage, 36, of New Ringgold and Rayan M. Navitsky, 34, of Tamaqua were charged with burglary for allegedly breaking into a building and stealing the government-owned wire.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-p-berks-fire-tower-wire-burglary-20121013,0,480612.story

Verizon Offers Up To $50,000 Reward In Reading Vandalism Case

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Verizon is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of people who vandalized the phone company’s copper telephone cables that run under the Bingaman Street Bridge.

Two recent incidents put public safety at risk for hundreds of customers in the Reading area and caused unnecessary telephone service outages, said Lee J. Gierczynski, Verizon spokesman.

Gierczynski said cables that run under the bridge were vandalized on Sept. 16 and on Tuesday.

The vandalism, which police suspect is being committed by copper thieves, caused a loss of phone service in some areas of south Reading and Kenhorst.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=417676

Those Crazy Copper Thieves Are Back!

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lebanon County

Image via Wikipedia

Maybe the gang in Fayette County has moved east in their quest for more copper?  A Lebanon County cell tower was vandalized and six copper plates valued at $75 each were stolen.  The tower is fenced in and thieves cut the lock to gain entrance.  The tower is shared by Verizon, T-Mobile, Nextel and AT&T.  And we wonder why prices keep going up!  The total damage estimate was $3,000!

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cornwall police at (717) 274-2071.