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Man accused of burglaries waives preliminary hearing
Thursday, December 6, 2012
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
A Clearfield man accused of participating in several burglaries and thefts waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge James Hawkins at yesterday's session of Centralized Court held at the Clearfield County Jail.
Joseph D. McPherson, 49, of Clearfield is accused of burglarizing several businesses and camps with Brian D. Demi, 43, of Curwensville.
McPherson is charged in five separate cases. They include: case 1, burglary; criminal conspiracy/burglary two counts;) criminal conspiracy/theft by unlawful taking (two counts;) theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property; criminal mischief. Case 2, theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property. Case 3, theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property. Case 4, theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property. Case 5 theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property; criminal conspiracy/theft by unlawful taking (two counts.); criminal conspiracy/receiving stolen property (two counts.)
Demi is charged in six separate cases. The include: case 1, burglary; criminal conspiracy/burglary (two counts.); theft by unlawful taking; theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property; criminal mischief; criminal conspiracy/theft by unlawful taking (two counts) Case 2, theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property. Case 3, theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property.
Case 4, theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property. Case 5, receiving stolen property.
Case 6, theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property; criminal conspiracy/theft by unlawful taking (two counts;) criminal conspiracy/receiving stolen property (two counts.)
However, Demi's case was continued until February because he had a medical emergency and is currently hospitalized.
According to the affidavits of probable cause, on Sept. 13 Demi and McPherson arrived at a camp on Medix Grade Road in Goshen Township and removed a steel cooker worth $200 that located behind the camp, loaded it into a pickup and fled the scene. The two then sold the cooker at Novey Recycling for scrap metal.
Sometime between Aug. 31 and Sept. 4 the two went to the Northern Sun Coal Company's strip mining site off of Ridge Road in Girard Township.
The two broke off two padlocks off of semi-box trailers and removed two shanks for a D-11 dozer worth $5,000, a Hensley shovel tooth worth $1,200, a D-11 dozier transmission water pump worth $500, clamps worth $20, bolts worth $20, and a D-8 dozer battery.
Total value stolen $6,840; damage to the padlocks is $40 each.
The two loaded the items into a pickup and took them to Novey Recycling and sold them for scrap metal.
On July 30, McPherson and Demi went to a Northern Sun Coal Company stripping site in a wooded area off of state Route 153 in Woodward Township and removed $400 in loose nuts and bolts, six 12-inch steel pins worth $3,000, and master pads for a bulldozer worth $1,600. Total value stolen is $5,000.
The two transported the items to Novey Recycling and sold them as scrap metal for $68.82.
On Sept. 13, the two went to a camp along Medix Grade Road in Goshen Township and removed several metal items that were located outside of the camp including a cast iron sink worth $25, 10-gauge pump line worth $50, seven feet of flu pipe worth $30, a log roller worth $25, five feet of flue pipe worth $5, eye bolts worth $10, and miscellaneous scrap metal worth $25. Total value stolen is $173.
The two took the items to Novey and sold the items as scrap metal for $169.47.
The owner of the camp, Donald Mohney, noticed the items were missing and looked at the photographs taken by a trail camera located in front of the camp and saw two people drive up in a blue and white Ford F-150 on some of the pictures.
He then went to a neighboring camp owned by Rich Crain and noticed that a cook stove was missing from behind the camp and contacted Crain about the missing items.
Mohney also said he heard that a friend's camp had been broken into in Irvona by two people that matched the description of the two he saw in his trail camera pictures.
Mohney then went to Novey Recycling where he saw some of his items in a pile of scrap metal. An employee told him the items were sold by McPherson on Sept. 14.
Mohney contacted police and provided them with the images on the trail camera. Police interviewed him on Sept. 17.
On Sept. 13, McPherson and Demi went to another camp on Medix Grade Road in Goshen Township and removed 90 feet of copper wire outside the camp that led to a shed. The copper wire was worth approximately $75.
On Aug. 8 several bulldozer parts were disassembled and stolen from a job site of Northern Sun Coal Company along SR-153 in Woodward Township.
The items stolen include four track pads worth $4,000, two front wheel covers worth $2,000, two master pad bolts worth $400, a roller cap worth $100, and miscellaneous scrap metal worth $300. Total value stolen was $8,000.
The two loaded the items into a pickup and took them to Novey's where they sold them for $239.
An employee of Novey contacted Melvin Swanson of the Northern Sun Coal Company and told him they had received some heavy equipment parts they believed belonged to the coal company.
Swanson went to Novey and identified the parts. Receipts show the items were sold to Novey's by Demi.
When interviewed on Sept. 26, McPherson admitted to committing several thefts from camps and strip mining sites in the area.
McPherson is incarcerated in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $5,000 straight bail on each count.
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