The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

October 24, 2012

Alleged copper thief faces more charges

LEWISBURG — A Milton man who has already racked up 52 charges in nine separate cases of copper pipe theft in Lewisburg can add Allenwoods allegation to his list.

Nicholas Norman, 34, faces one count of burglary, a felony, as well as theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property, both misdemeanors, in the theft of 300 feet of copper pipe, according to state police.

Norman already faces 52 charges for his alleged role in a rash of copper thefts in Lewisburg in late July.

In this latest case, state police allege that sometime between June 10 and 13, Norman broke into the home of Kelly Solomon on South Creek Road in Allenwood and took about 300 feet of copper pipe from her basement.

Solomon told police that a friend witnessed a white van back into Solomon’s yard and took down the license plate number. The description and registration information match the same white 1998 Windstar van witnesses reported seeing at the some of the Lewisburg crime scenes.

The vehicle is registered to Dawn Hadcock, of Milton, who told police she owns the van and Norman, her boyfriend, is the only other person who drives it.

State police said they saw the van in the driveway of Hadcock’s home when they went to question her, according to the affidavit.

Norman was charged in September with nine counts each of burglary, conspiracy and criminal trespass, all felonies. He also faces nine counts of criminal mischief and eight counts each of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property, all misdemeanors.

A spree of 13 burglaries in Lewisburg was reported between July 23 and 29 in a four-block radius of South Sixth and South Seventh streets.

When charged in the Lewisburg cases, Norman already was in Northumberland County Prison, in lieu of $25,000 bail, for his role in a Milton break-in involving copper theft.

The affidavit states that Norman told state police he has a severe heroin addiction and committed the crimes to get money to feed his habit. He sold the copper pipe to Staimans Recycling in Williamsport, which provided state police with a list of all transactions it had with Norman.

Seth Keller, general manager at Staimans, said he couldn’t give The Daily Item the list, citing confidentiality.

“We don’t want to buy stolen property,” Keller said, but “anyone can come in and sell pipe,” adding that many people sell copper to Staimans; most of them are remodeling their homes, he said, and the pipes are the standard one-half-inch to one-inch in diameter for household use.

Larger diameter pipes, between two and four inches in diameter, arouse suspicions, Keller said, as that size is used in commercial properties. State police investigating the burglary could not be reached for comment.

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