15 Sep 2014
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LB Highway Workers Charged with Stealing $14K of Equipment

Assistant supervisor, former employee stole and sold salt spreaders before Long Beach Fall Festival, DA says.

LB Highway Workers Charged with Stealing $14K of Equipment

A Long Beach highway supervisor and his former employee face larceny charges after they stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment, according to the Nassau County District Attorney's office.

Charles Porcaro, 48, of Oceanside, and Jeorking Welker, 34, of Long Beach, were charged with felony grand larceny and could face prison time if convicted.

Porcaro, an assistant supervisor for the Long Beach Highway Department, was prepping with crews for the Long Beach Fall Festival in September when the theft occurred, according to Nassau DA Kathleen Rice. 

Porcaro helped bring three metal salt spreaders to an unlocked storage lot in Long Beach before making contact with Welker, Rice said. 

Porcaro told Welker, a former part-time employee of the same department, that there were salt spreaders up for grabs in the lot, Rice said. 

Welker rented a truck in Oceanside, picked up the equipment, and sold it to a scrap metal company for $313, Rice said. The stolen goods were originally valued at $14,000.

Long Beach Highway officials called Long Beach Police after discovering the equipment had been stolen. They then contacted the DA's office to help with the case.

"We invited the DA in to assist us with this investigation -- this administration has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to employee misconduct," said Long Beach City Manager Jack Schnirman.

"Long Beach has been hit hard enough by natural disaster - the last thing the city needs is employees stealing equipment from its taxpayers, too," Rice said. 

Porcaro was charged with third-degree grand larceny and official misconduct and faces between two and seven years in prison if convicted. He is scheduled to return to court June 26.

Welker was charged with third-degree grand larceny and third-degree criminal possession of stolen property. He faces between three and seven years in prison if convicted. He is due back in court June 11.

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