Rosary tattoo helps police identify suspects in Derry Township scrap metal thefts |

Rosary tattoo helps police identify suspects in Derry Township scrap metal thefts

Paul Peirce

State police used footage from a security camera hidden in an abandoned Derry Township industrial plant to identify two suspects, one with a distinctive rosary tattoo, in the theft of almost 1,000 pounds of copper and brass last summer.

Troopers this week arrested Timothy Tarr, 33, of Indiana County and formerly of Salem Township, on multiple charges of burglary, criminal trespass and theft in connection with multiple break-ins last June at the former Kennametal Inc. plant on Chestnut Ridge Road. The property is now owned by C&D Coal Co.

Tarr was arraigned before Derry District Judge Mark Bilik and ordered held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $50,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing.

Police also have an arrest warrant for John A. Kurtz, 51, of Greensburg, who admitted his involvement in a recent interview with Trooper Joseph Lauricia, according to court documents.

C&D officials provided video which showed one of the men who entered the plant June 18-20 had a rosary tattoo on his upper arm, Lauricia reported in a criminal complaint.

Investigators determined Kurtz matched the description and has such a tattoo, which led them to Tarr, “who is a known acquaintance of Kurtz,” Lauricia wrote.

Troopers obtained multiple receipts from a McKeesport scrap yard showing that Tarr was paid $1,771 in exchange several hundred pounds of brass and copper, suspected to have been taken during the thefts, Lauricia reported.

“Kurtz said in an interview he did not think it was a problem taking the items since the building has been abandoned for awhile and no one uses it anymore,” Lauricia wrote.

Lauricia said the men reportedly spent the cash on illegal drugs.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.