Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 24, 2005

Hutchinson men charged with stealing scrap metal

By Ryan Gueningsman
Staff Writer

Two Hutchinson men have been charged with stealing more than $11,000 of scrap metal from CPS Scherping in Winsted in October 2004.

Johnathon Lee Courier, 22, and Josiah Jesse Peck, 21, both of Hutchinson, are facing felony theft charges for allegedly stealing the stainless steel scrap metal.

Shortly after the thefts, a CPS Scherping employee went to Hutchinson Iron and Metal to see if any metal had been turned in recently and discovered that it had been and a check given to Peck for $613, according to the criminal complaint.

Both Peck and Courier admitted to taking the stainless steel without permission and turning it into Hutchinson Iron and Metal for payment, according to the complaint.

Winsted Police Chief Mike Henrich stressed the need for industrial-type businesses to take the necessary security precautions to prevent such thefts from happening.

“There is such a racket for those thefts,” Henrich said. “The stuff is hard to identify once stolen.”

He noted that since the thefts at CPS Scherping, several security measures have been put into place.

“Those businesses have to take every step they can to stop it from being stolen in the first place,” he said. “Credit should go to the Scherping employee who checked the scrap yard. He did that on his own time and went beyond the call of duty.”

Peck’s first court appearance to face the theft charge is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 31, according to the McLeod County Attorney’s Office. Courier’s is scheduled for today (Jan. 24).

If convicted, both men face a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment, and/or a $20,000 fine.

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