HAMBURG, Pa. - Three men were caught when they returned to a popular railroad museum to steal more metal, according to the police.
Kurt Webber of Palmyra, Lebanon County; David Hartman, of Bethel; and Eric Reppert, of Fredericksburg, were arrested after the police said they tried to steal copper, aluminum, and battery materials near the Reading Railroad Heritage Museum.
"This initially started out in the early hours Saturday morning with one of the officers receiving a call that there was a break-in at the Blue Mountain Train Museum on South Third Street in Hamburg," said Hamburg police Chief Anthony Kuklinski.
Reading and Northern Railroad police sent out images of missing materials to area scrap yards.
A patrol early Monday morning prompted by the reports led to the arrest of the individuals outside the museum, but not before the railroad police gave chase and Hamburg police were brought in to assist.
Damage estimates are rising.
"As the victims go through the equipment that's down, there they're finding thousands, actually closer to hundreds of thousands, of dollars worth of damage as a result of individuals in there stealing scrap metal from them," Kuklinski said
According to the police, employees at Laurel Street Recyclers in south Reading recognized the stolen items and alerted authorities.
"We are still gathering evidence from them," Kuklinski said. "We will be continuing down to the Laurel Street scrap yard tomorrow (Tuesday) morning to get video footage as well as some other evidence that is being held there."
Police said the individuals have been involved in criminal activity before and that they believe a fourth suspect is involved.
"We are waiting to develop to see exactly what this [other] person's involvement is," Kuklinski said. "There will be more charges and there will be additional charges and persons arrested through this. I'm confident of that."