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Police charge two with stealing large amounts of scrap metal

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Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011

Police in two Westmoreland County communities reported separate arrests of two men in the theft of large amounts of scrap metal in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Tips from McKeesport police led CSX railroad police to charge Joseph Peter Carilli Jr., 32, of 113 N. Second St., Apt. 104, West Newton, with 114 complaints of criminal trespass and theft. Carilli is accused of committing 50 to 60 thefts since February along CSX tracks in West Newton, McKeesport and Clairton, police said.

Penn Township police said they caught Jeffery M. Miller, 31, of 7816 Edgewood Ave., Pittsburgh, stealing large amounts of aluminum shavings from a large recycling container, owned by Export-based Versa-Tech Inc., at 2:13 a.m. Thursday.

As police approached Miller, he said, "I know ... I'm guilty. I needed to do this for the money. Are you going to take me to jail?" Penn Township Officer Sean Foor said.

Miller filled seven garbage cans with aluminum shavings, Foor alleges. Police were keeping an eye on the facility after company officials complained about recent thefts of metal scraps, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed before Harrison City District Judge Helen Kistler.

Miller is charged with theft, possessing instruments of crime, receiving stolen property and driving on a suspended license.

Police tracked Carilli after his pickup was towed March 14 from CSX property in McKeesport. Carilli had fled the scene, but according to an affidavit filed on Oct. 31 by CSX police before West Newton District Judge Charles Christner, his truck was found loaded with about $800 worth of metal track material.

Police received another tip on May 16 that Carilli was still stealing from area railroad yards, according to the affidavit.

In an interview the following day with an agent from CSX, Carilli allegedly admitted targeting railroad property, the affidavit alleges.

"I try to get a load together about every other day. I go out and walk the tracks picking up everything I can, " Carilli said.

When his truck was towed in March, Carilli told the agent, he walked three miles between McKeesport and Port Vue picking up metal scraps before he spotted McKeesport police approaching and ran.

Police said Carilli often had his former girlfriend accompany him to scrapyards because officials became suspicious about his numerous trips.

Carilli is incarcerated in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bond. A preliminary hearing will be held Nov. 14 before Christner.

Miller was freed on a recognizance bond. A preliminary hearing will be held on Tuesday before Kistler.

Reporter Stacey Federoff contributed.

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