Friday, April 18, 2008

Metals Theft Nets Man 32 Felonies

WHAT: Recyclable Metals Arrest

WHO: Robert Morrison, 44, 171 Cocohatchee, North Naples

WHEN: Thursday, April 17, 2008

VICTIM: Hellerman Tyton Corp., 1250 Creekside Parkway, North Naples

CHARGES: one count grand theft over $100,000, 16 counts dealing in stolen property and 15 counts false verification of ownership

SUMMARY: Morrison, the maintenance manager at Hellerman Tyton, is charged with stealing recyclable metals valued at $179,000 and then selling them to a recycler, keeping the cash.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office reports gave this account: Peter Jonas, vice president for operations at Hellerman Tyton, told deputies that beginning in September 2007 and ending Jan. 31, 2008, the company began closing its North Naples operations.

On Oct. 17, 2007, the company sent Morrison an e-mail instructing him to order Dumpsters and place them inside the building for scrap recyclable metals such as large copper wire, copper pipe, aluminum, and brass.

The Dumpsters were never installed and the recyclable materials disappeared.

Morrison told Jonas in a phone conversation that he did not know the recyclable metals were of any value and had thrown them away.

Further investigation by CCSO revealed Morrison had sold recyclable metals to Garden Street Iron and Metal, 6101 Shirley St., North Naples, a secondary metal recycling business that purchases recyclable metals from the general public.

Business receipts showed that between Nov. 1, 2007, and Jan. 21, 2008, Morrison sold 16,443 pounds of aluminum, brass, large clean copper wire, copper pipe, insulated copper wire, mixed aluminum and stainless steel in exchange for $33,993.41.