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Two charged in two-ton scrap theft

| Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 4:35 p.m.

Upper Burrell police have arrested two men on charges they stole about two tons of metal parts from J.C. Delo Co. and sold it at local scrap yards.

The truck parts are worth between $9,000 and $10,000, owner Joe Delo said in an interview Friday.

Derek Babyak, 20, of Bell Township and Shawn Rome, 20, of Buffalo Township are charged with two counts each of theft, receiving stolen property, trespassing, criminal mischief and six counts each of conspiracy.

The suspects are free on bond. They're scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Feb. 19 before District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec in Allegheny Township.

Delo said the items taken include wheel rims, vehicle transmissions, gear parts, rear truck axles and wheel housings.

Most of it was being stored in a box trailer at the pallet yard on Myers Drive, according to police.

Upper Burrell police said the break-ins occurred during the weekend of Jan. 6 and overnight on Jan 9. Employees arrived the mornings after the break-ins and found the front-gate lock had been cut.

John Delo's son, Jim, went to two local scrap yards to see whether any of the material had been sold there.

PJ Greco Sons salvage yard in Tarentum said two young men had brought in several items matching the description of what had been stolen from Delo's.

In total, the two men dropped off 3,740 pounds of material and received about $467 for it at Greco's.

Jim Delo also contacted Hloznik's Auto Salvage in Frazer and was told Babyak had dropped items off there as well.

Babyak was paid $211 for the scrap there, police said.

Police say that employees at both locations identified Babyak and Rome and the older red or maroon Ford pickup the men used to haul in the scrap.

“When you get all those parts together, of course they were very heavy,” Joe Delo said. “It was quite a load.”

Delo said they plan to better secure the front gate to prevent break-ins.

“We certainly had great cooperation from the Upper Burrell police,” he said, “and they've been more judicious about looking the place over.”

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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