By SAVANNAH DEMPSEY
MUNCY Three locals face charges, after allegedly stealing wire from a local business. Police say the group scrapped the wire and used the cash to pay for their heroin addictions, according to court record.
Robert Louis Clayton Jr., 53, of 20 Nicholas Lane, Watsontown and Michael Eugene Walker, 46, of 1162 Cemetery Road, Muncy, have each been charged with felony counts for theft and receiving stolen property and one summary count of criminal trespassing. Sandra Louise Clayton, 49, also of 20 Nicholas Lane, has been charged two felony counts of conspiracy to commit theft and conspiracy to receive stolen property.
In Oct. of 2012, Michael Clemenotoni, vice president of Muncy Homes in Muncy Creek Township, had a strange realization. Although his workers kept depositing wire in the scrap bins in the business's yard, the bins never seemed to become full.
Suspicious, he decided to install a game camera on the property. Sure enough, he captured several images of two white males passing garbage cans full of wire over the fence which surrounded the property. When he contacted state police on Nov. 19, 2012, he was able to provide them with several pictures of the individuals. According to court record, one of the pictures was so clear, it was possible to read "240 Essex" on one of the garbage cans.
On Nov. 21, officers showed these pictures to employees at Staiman's Recycling in the city. The employees called police just a few hours later to report that one of the men in the pictures had come to cash in wire, according to court records.
Officers met with Walker, who was waiting outside of Staiman's in a van with Sandra Clayton, records state. As they were conducting the interview, Robert Clayton came out of the business with a check for about $600, which he had allegedly gotten for cashing in scrap wire.
Walker admitted to officers that the wire was stolen from Muncy Homes, and gave officers permission to search his van. Officers took several photos of a garbage can stamped "240 Essex," which was located inside the vehicle, according to the affidavit.
On Nov. 11, officers interviewed Robert Clayton, who allegedly admitted that he and Walker had stolen wire from Muncy Homes about four or five times since September. He allegedly explained that the pair would park a vehicle along the fence, hop over, fill their garbage cans with wire, and pass them back over the fence, according to the affidavit.
He said that they would take the wire to his residence in Watsontown, where they would burn off the coating. They would then take the wire to sell at Staiman's "to support everyone's heroin addiction," records state.
That same day, police also interviewed Sarah Clayton. Sarah admitted to selling wire at Staiman's but said she didn't know the wire was stolen.
"She said she had a suspicion but enjoyed the benefits of having money to buy heroin," police wrote in the affidavit.
On Dec. 19, police interviewed Walker at the Lycoming County prison. Walker also confessed to his involvement in the theft, according to police. He allegedly said the pair would take about 75 to 100 lbs. of wire to Staiman's at a time. In all, Walker estimated that the group received about $3000, which they collectively spent on heroin, records state.
Walker was arraigned before District Judge Jon E. Kemp on Aug. 6. He has since been incarcerated in lieu of $35,000 bail.
Robert and Sandra Clayton were arraigned before Kemp on Aug. 9. Both have been released on $35,000 bail, each.