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2nd man charged in Vandergrift copper theft

| Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Brian Keith McKean

Police charged a second Vandergrift man for allegedly taking rolls of copper from Lawrence Plumbing in September.

State police charged Brian Keith McKean, 27, with burglary, criminal trespassing, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and two counts of criminal conspiracy for allegedly taking seven rolls of copper, valued at approximately $2,600, between Sept. 14 and 18 from Lawrence Plumbing's facility on Industrial Park Road, Parks.

Last week, police charged Justin Keith McMasters, 24, with two counts of burglary, two counts of criminal trespassing, one count of theft by unlawful taking, one count of receiving stolen property and two counts of criminal conspiracy for allegedly helping McKean take the rolls of copper.

According to police, McMasters and McKean were caught on security cameras pulling a green Ford Ranger truck into the warehouse, loading the copper rolls and driving away on Sept. 14 at 9:30 a.m.

According to police, the men took the copper to Tomson's Scrap Yard in Brackenridge, where they scrapped 293 pounds of the metal for $820.40, which they split.

McMasters returned to the facility on Sept. 18 at 9:50 p.m., when he did not take anything but looked directly into a security camera, police said.

Police used the footage to identify McMasters and arrested him on Nov. 6 at his mother's home in Vandergrift. He was ordered to be held inthe Armstrong County Jail by District Judge James Owen.

McMasters waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Wednesday before District Judge James Andring in Leechburg.

McKean, who was incarcerated for a probation violation, was arraigned before Andring on Wednesday for allegedly taking the copper rolls and is awaiting a preliminary hearing. Bail was set at $25,000.

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303, ext. 1337, or bpedersen@tribweb.com.

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