WEST CHESTER, PA — A father of four who struggles with a heroin addiction told a Common Pleas Court judge that he planned to pay back thousands of dollars he owes Amtrak for stealing copper wire from the railroad’s Philadelphia to Harrisburg line, but he did not say how.
William James Stauffer, 29, of Honey Brook pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of theft by unlawful taking and criminal mischief for the December 2010 theft about 800 pounds of copper electrical wire. In addition to a prison term of six to 23 months in Chester County prison and three years of probation, he was ordered to pay $28,650 to the railroad for the cost of the wire and the considerable disruption its loss caused operations along the line.
“As soon as I get back home, I’d like to get back to work,” Stauffer told Jude William Mahon, who accepted the plea agreement between the prosecution and Stauffer’s attorney. “I want to give it 100 percent to pay my restitution, and to keep my nose clean.