The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

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September 13, 2012

Troubles pile up for alleged copper thief

MILTON — A Milton man faces a slew of charges in connection with a July break-in which left a home stripped of more than $1,000 of copper pipes.

Nicholas Norman, 35, of Route 642 in Milton, has been charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, criminal trespass, risking catastrophe, criminal mischief, receiving stolen property and theft following the July incident at 608 Lincoln St. in the borough.

The homeowners, who had placed the property on the market, called police July 27 to report that someone had broken into the basement, police said.

The couple reported noticing a strong natural gas smell and a massive water leak coming from the basement, which lead them downstairs, where the discovered the majority of copper piping in the basement had been taken, police said.

When police were questioning Dennis Russell, 41, of Milton, in connection with another case, Russell admitted to the burglary at 608 Lincoln St., saying Norman helped him “cash in” the copper, according to court documents.

Russell was charged in July with burglary and criminal trespass, both felonies, and possession of an instrument of crime, a misdemeanor.

Police located receipts from Staiman Recycling in Williamsport, indicating Norman had sold 110 pounds of copper pipes at the recycling center for a total of $304.

The homeowners estimate replacing the copper at the Lincoln Street property will cost about $1,150.

Norman was committed to the Northumberland County Prison in lieu of $25,000 bail Thursday. His preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 19.

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