Police arrest pair in stolen scrap metal operation in Brackenridge
State police Wednesday arrested the second half of a pair they say were stealing and cutting up I-beams.
State police from Butler arrested Travis Black, no age available, of Roup Avenue, Brackenridge when they arrived at his home with a search warrant.
Police had previously arrested Black's friend, Ryan Stepp, of Clinton Township on Tuesday. Stepp, 31, was in the Butler County jail on charges of theft and receiving stolen property.
Shortly after 5 p.m., a state police car pulled up in front of Black's house in the 700 block of Roup, and police over a loudspeaker ordered Black to surrender.
He and a woman in the house quickly came out, and Black was taken into custody without incident.
Trooper Mike Taylor said the investigation that led to Black's arrest began with an anonymous call on Nov. 28.
Taylor said police went to Stepp's property in Clinton Township, where they allegedly found Stepp and Black cutting up I-beams.
Police say the I-beams belonged to Brayman Construction in Clinton. Taylor would not say where they were taken from.
Taylor said Black used an engine hoist to load the 5-to-6-foot beams into a truck, and take them to Stepp's property. Black and Stepp would then cut them up together, Taylor said.
Taylor said Black confessed to stealing the I-beams. Black was released because he was cooperating, but Taylor said police later determined Black was allegedly stealing more than he had admitted to.
Police were searching Black's home and a detached garage into Wednesday night. Taylor would not comment on what had been found.
Trooper Dan Kesten said Black would be charged with theft. He was to be taken to Butler to be processed and arraigned.
Melissa Elliott, a neighbor on Horner Street, said she had seen Black bring pieces of vehicles to his home late at night and proceed to cut them up into the early morning hours.
“We'd watch Travis dismember stuff. Where does Travis get this stuff? It's crazy,” she said. “Where does this man come up with these big pieces of metal?”
Elliott said Black moved to the house at Roup and Horner after losing his home in a fire.
Black had lived in an apartment at 869 First Ave., Brackenridge, over his garage, TB Auto.
Elliott said they tried to befriend Black after he moved to the area. She said he wasn't rude, but he kept to himself. The activity at his garage raised her suspicions.
“There was always something interesting going on,” she said. “Something needed to be done. We were sick of it, sick of the noise.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Freeport man accused of having child pornography images
- Lower Burrell man charged with shoplifting
- New Kensington to convert tennis courts to dek hockey rink
- New Kensington contractor selected to serve on bridge project
- Both candidates for governor visiting Armstrong County on Saturday
- Recognition key to winning 33rd District
- Allegheny Valley drug suspects corralled
- 55th House candidates relying on relationships with voters, not media advertising
- New Ken apartment raid nets 6 arrests, drugs, cash
- 3 Cheswick firefighters honored with lifetime achievement awards
- Indiana Township suspect accused of raping juvenile