The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

November 12, 2013

Felonies await trio who took RR scrap

By MARK TODD - mtodd@starbeacon.com
Staff Writer

CONNEAUT — Felony charges may be filed against two Conneaut men and a 14-year-old boy caught stealing scrap metal from railroad property late last week, police said.

The arrests may have nipped a string of crimes that have occurred on railroad property in recent weeks, officers said in a report. “Numerous thefts” of scrap metal have been reported, police said.

The big break in the case came shortly before 8 p.m. Friday, officers said. Responding to yet another complaint, officers positioned themselves along the CSX Railway tracks near Lake Short Court and Beaver Street. Moments later, an all-terrain vehicle carrying three people and pulling a trailer appeared, officers said. Heeding orders from an officer, the driver stopped the machine, police said.

Inside the trailer were buckets of lag screw and railroad iron pieces, officers said. The men told police they found the metal in nearby woods. Police said the two men had previously been warned to stay off railroad property, officers said.

The CSX trainmaster arrived on the scene and identified the material as railroad property, police said. Theft of railroad property is a fifth-degree felony, officers said.

A railroad security officer told police train traffic had to be halted Friday because of the incident, which could impact any trespassing charges that result, according to a report.