New Castle News

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January 23, 2013

Charges refiled in city pole wire theft

NEW CASTLE — A Neshannock Village man accused of stealing wires from  North Hill utility polls last spring faces nearly 100 charges.

New Castle police filed charges for a second time  against James Joseph Morris, 45, of Neshannock Village. He and another man, Timothy Yates, were charged in May of last year but Penn Power representative did not show up for Morris’ hearing and the charges were withdrawn, according to police chief Bobby Salem.

Police refiled them on Friday.

Morris faces 16 counts each of theft, criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property, criminal conspiracy to commit theft, criminal mischief and criminal conspiracy  to commit theft and one count each of possessing instruments of crime and criminal conspiracy to possess instruments of crime.

Because all of the charges were of misdemeanor or summary level, Salem said, Morris has been sent a summons to appear for a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 27 in Central Court.

Charges against Yates have been held for Lawrence County court.

According to police, New Castle officers were called on April 21 to Garfield Avenue where Morris and Yates allegedly were taking wires from poles.

Officers said they found numerous pieces of copper resembling the ground wire from the poles and a set of bolt cutters inside a handcart that the men had.

A Penn Power supervisor later identified the wire as that from the poles. He told police that ground wire had been taken from 18 poles in that area and estimated the cost to repair them was $7,141. The poles affected were on Moody, Sheridan, Edison, Hillcrest, Leasure, Park, Winter and  Delaware avenues and Logan Street.

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