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Police: Man Stole Wire During Hurricane Sandy Blackout

Charles Dean Landreth, 28, of Easton is accused of taking copper wire from truck in Stockertown after Hurricane Sandy. The truck, police say, was being used to “facilitate power.”

Police: Man Stole Wire During Hurricane Sandy Blackout

An Easton man is accused of trying to profit during the widespread power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Court records say Charles Dean Landreth, 28, took long pieces of copper wire between the afternoon of Friday, Nov. 2 and the morning of Monday, Nov. 5 from a truck at Stockertown Cement Co., 501 Center St.

The wire, used for welding, was on a truck carrying equipment being used to “facilitate power.”

Power in Stockertown went out on Monday, Oct. 29 and wasn’t fully restored to most borough residents until the evening of Nov. 5, the records say.

Landreth is accused of selling the wire at a scrap yard for $512.14. Yard workers told police they recognized Landreth from previous visits to the yard.

Landreth, of 201 E. Nesquehoning St. on Easton’s South Side, was charged with theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief.

He was arraigned Wednesday night by on-duty District Judge Jackie Taschner of Palmer Township and committed to Northampton County Prison in lieu of $20,000 bail.

Stockertown police Officer Amal Brown wrote in a criminal complaint that he got involved in the case around 8:20 a.m. Nov. 5, when he went to Stockertown Cement and talked to the manager.

The manager said that on Wednesday, Oct. 31, a green Ford F150 had been parked outside office doors. To the rear of the truck was a welder with 100-foot-long welding leads made of copper wire with protective plastic coating. The leads were screwed to the truck’s bed.

He said the last time he recalled viewing the truck’s equipment was about 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2.

On the morning of Nov. 5 -- before Brown was called to the cement company -- one of the quarry workers moved the truck inside the quarry area. They then realized the welding leads had been cut.

Brown, through his investigation, learned that Easton Iron & Metal Co., 1100 Bushkill Drive in Easton, had received 166 pounds of number-one copper wire and 12 pounds of insulated number-one wire on Nov. 5. The wire was stripped of its outer protective covering.

A sales receipt for $512.14 identified the seller as Landreth. Yard workers told Brown they recognized Landreth, who drove a black Honda, from previous visits to the yard.

Brown discovered that Landreth’s Nesquehoning Street home was the same address as that on his driver’s license, which he had presented at the time of the wire sale.

An arrest warrant for Landreth was approved Dec. 10.

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