Police: Man caught at closed factory stealing copper

A 57-year-old city man caught allegedly stealing 30 pounds of copper pipe inside the vacant former Trimtex building at 400 Park Ave. on Thursday afternoon has been jailed on felony charges, city police said.

A maintenance man checking on the building is credited with alerting police after he spotted the burglar, Richard A. Stark, about 2:30 p.m.

After officers surrounded the structure, the intruder was seen sticking his head out a window, police said. Officers told him to surrender, but he refused and stuck his head back inside.

Stark did give up after officers entered the complex and found him hiding behind some boxes, police said. A duffel bag filled with copper pipe was recovered inside the building.

Stark, who lives in an apartment at 653 Hepburn St., admitted he was filling the bag with copper pipe that he hoped to sell as scrap.

Police allege Stark destroyed a sink and a water cooler by pulling them from a wall in order to get the copper.

Stark was arraigned late Thursday night before District Judge James Carn on felony charges of burglary, trespassing, criminal mischief, theft and receiving stolen property. He was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail.