Long Island Rail Road Copper Theft Shows Need For Metal Theft Protection Act

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. (AP) — Three Long Island Rail Road workers have been charged with stealing thousands of pounds of copper wire from the railroad and selling it for scrap.

Newsday reports that the three men were arraigned Friday on charges of grand larceny and criminal possession of stolen property in First District Court in Hempstead.

Authorities say the workers removed wire cables from job sites, loaded them onto LIRR trucks and then transferred them onto their own vehicles. They say wire was later sold to local recyclers for cash.

Authorities say the thefts occurred between February and April 2011 and December 2012.

All three pleaded not guilty. They have been suspended without pay from the railroad.

The arrests come after 15 other LIRR employees were convicted of similar crimes.

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