Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 10, 2013

Two charged with scrap metal theft

Niagara Gazette — Two Lockport men are accused of taking $3,200 worth of scrap metal from Dunn Tire on Robinson Road.

Carmelo Cordero, 33, 164 Cottage St. and Jorge L. Vasquez, 18, 6146 Ruhlmann Road, were both charged Monday with third-degree grand larceny.

A man leaving the nearby Fieldstone restaurant called the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office and said he heard loud banging behind Dunn Tire and then saw a white van leaving the property.

The van reportedly left and headed north on South Transit Road, at which point a deputy saw it stopped on Strauss Road waiting to turn. The deputy pulled the van over near the Corwin and South Transit roads intersection.

When interviewed, Cordero said that he and Vazquez were coming from Dunn Tire to pick up old tires. Scrap metal and old tires were in the back of the van, the deputy reported.

The two had permission from a Dunn Tire employee to take the tires, as they do from a few other local businesses, but probably should not have taken the metal, as they did not have permission to do that, Cordero reportedly said. Both men worked for a used tire business in the city.

About 50 to 60 tires, a large pile of brake rotors and some miscellaneous scrap auto parts were found in the van by a deputy.

Vazquez reportedly couldn’t speak English, only Spanish. The Sheriff’s Office checked with the U.S. Border Patrol on his status, both men were found to be in the country legally.

The district manager of Dunn Tire arrived on scene and said the business had not given anybody permission to remove any property. The employee who had given permission to take the tires does not have that authority, the manager said. The items in the van were identified by the manager.

Both men were instructed to return the metal and the tires to Dunn Tire.

Cordero and Vasquez were arrested and taken to the Niagara County Jail on $2,500 bail. They’re scheduled to be in Lockport Town Court today.

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