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3 arrested in break-in at Allegheny Ludlum plant

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Friday, May 24, 2013, 1:41 a.m.
 

West Leechburg police arrested three men Wednesday for allegedly breaking into the old Allegheny Ludlum plant there.

The men confessed that they broke in to steal copper wire from the electrical system, said West Leechburg police Capt. George Lebetz.

Lebetz, also a member of Allegheny Technologies' plant protection team that patrols the site, said the men gained access through a hole in the fence near the lower end of the plant.

Derek Ray Babyak, 20, of Apollo; Mathew Allen Baker, 27, of West Leechburg; and David William Brown, 23, of Bell Township are charged with two counts each of burglary and one count each of theft, criminal trespass and receiving stolen property.

Police say the three broke into the plant about 7:30 p.m.

According to a criminal complaint filed to support the charges:

Plant-protection members contacted authorities when they saw a suspicious vehicle parked near the railroad tracks off First Street. They could hear a saw running inside the plant.

The men were getting ready to leave when police arrived. They tried to run away, but complied with orders to stop.

Police say Babyak told them he met Brown and Baker at Baker's home and they drove to the train tracks near the plant. He said he climbed into the rafters to cut electrical cable.

Babyak said his brother and cousin had been inside the plant previously to cut electric cable. The saw and bolt cutters the three used on Wednesday had been left near the door to one of the buildings.

The two other men gave police similar accounts of their activities.

Plant security later found electric cable had been cut from the transformers and electrical boxes.

Babyak, Baker and Brown were arraigned Thursday and were being held in the Westmoreland County jail. Baker's bond was set at $7,500, Babyak's at $10,000, and Brown's bond was $15,000, according to court records.

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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