The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

December 6, 2012

Police issue warning after copper theft at plant

CHARLESTON — West Virginia State Police are warning manufacturers to review security procedures after two men posing as contractors drove out of a plant with two tons of stolen scrap copper.

Workers at the Constellium Rolled Products Plant in Ravenswood did not suspect the men were thieves. They even loaded the copper onto the men’s pickup truck, Trooper C.A. May told the Charleston Daily Mail.

“If these guys can get in and do this by simply posing as contractors, then I’d say other places should be extra cautious,” May said. “I think they should be leery and probably step up their security a bit.”

Constellium regularly sells scrap copper known as copper chops that are left over from its alloy production and maintenance activities. It’s not unusual for contractors and trucking companies to visit the plant to pick up the metal.

One of the suspects told the security guard at the plant’s gate that he was supposed to pick up an order. He was given a pass into the plant after he used a fake license and identification on plant security forms.

The security guard told police that he saw only one man. Investigators believe the other man was hiding in the truck, May said.

Once they were on the plant grounds, they went to one of the cast houses and told employees they were picking up scrap copper.

“The foreman there said they looked like typical contractors they work with,” May said. “The workers thought that’s what they were there for, so they loaded it in the back of the vehicle.”

After workers filled the truck’s bed with scrap copper, the men left the plant.

“They were pretty loaded — it was squatting the truck,” May said.

Workers told police that the only thing odd about the men was their hats, which differed in style from the hard hats everyone is required to wear inside the plant’s gates.

“They said it was in the shape of a coal miner hat,” May said.

A Constellium spokeswoman declined to comment on the theft.

May said plant security officers contacted several metal recyclers in West Virginia and surrounding states after the theft occurred Friday afternoon.

“It’ll be hard to get rid of it,” she said.” If we get word out, all those recycling places aren’t going to touch it.”

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • forum1 VIDEO: Meet the Candidates

    ABOUT THE FORUM:
    The Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Meet the Candidates forum Thursday morning at the Beckley-Raleigh County Convention Center.

    April 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Forum: U.S. Senate and House

    U.S. Senate
    The lone candidate for U.S. Senate to attend the Beckley-Raleigh County Chamber of Commerce Meet the Candidate Forum, David Wamsley, described himself as “the most liberal candidate, the most conservative candidate and the most moderate candidate” in the race. Wamsley said he believes each individual issue should be dealt with on its merits and not because of partisan politics.

    April 25, 2014

  • Forum: House of Delegates

    District 28
    Democratic House of Delegates candidates Jeffry Pritt and James Brown focused on issues dealing with the efficiency of the Legislature, crime, infrastructure and taxes.

    April 25, 2014

  • Forum: Board of Education

    Perennial board of education issues of technology, consolidation and truancy were among the questions dealt with Thursday by candidates for a seat on the Raleigh County Board of Education.

    April 25, 2014

  • After being line-item vetoed from state budget, Meadow Bridge to get $50,000 from WVDOE

    After the prospect was initially vetoed by Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin in March, Fayette County School Superintendent Keith Butcher announced this week that the county will indeed receive funds for Meadow Bridge High School after all.

    April 25, 2014

  • ARH, BARH registered nurses to stage one-day strike

    A national labor union announced Thursday that registered nurses at Beckley Appalachian Regional Hospital will join colleagues at Appalachian Regional Hospital in Hazard, Ky., in staging a one-day strike May 1.

    April 25, 2014

  • expressway Coalfields Expressway developments detailed by WVDOT

    A convoy of press, public and politics raised clouds of dust along an unfinished corridor of the long-awaited Coalfields Expressway Thursday during an open tour of the construction zone.

    April 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mercer County firefighters batting three different brush fires

    Firefighters are currently on the scene of at least three brush fires now burning in rural areas of Mercer County.

    April 24, 2014

  • BeverlyMagnumMUG.jpg Woman who attempted to rob bank at gunpoint captured in Tennessee

    A woman who attempted to rob a Bluefield bank at gunpoint has been captured in Tennessee , police said Thursday.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former federal prison worker pleads guilty to sex offense

    A former federal prison employee pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Beckley to engaging in abusive sexual contact with a female inmate.

    April 24, 2014