Police: Red Lion man stole $45K worth of wheels
A Red Lion man is accused of scrapping $45,000 worth of aluminum truck wheels he stole from a Springettsbury Township business, according to officials.
Robert Lewis Kline Jr. sold 150 wheels for scrap between Nov. 13 and Jan. 4 and was paid almost $2,000 for them, according to Springettsbury Township Police.
Kline was spotted fleeing from the Service Tire Truck Center on Dec. 29, prompting a manager to check the inventory, charging documents state.
After checking it, the manager found that about 150 of the wheels had gone missing since Nov. 6, officials said.
Kline, 41, of the first block of First Avenue, is charged with trespassing, theft, receiving stolen property, and theft of secondary metal.
Spotted: A worker at the 2800 Concord Road business heard what sounded like an aluminum wheel being dropped on Dec. 29, according to police.
He then saw a man, later identified as Kline, running from the fenced "pen" where the wheels were secured, charging documents state. Kline got in a silver SUV and drove away, officials said.
The site manager took inventory of the wheels and found that since Nov. 6, the last inventory date, about 140 to 150 wheels had gone missing, court documents state.
The wheels were stored on pallets in a gated, locked area within the parking lot, police said. The lot itself is not open to the public, but the gate to the lot is open during business hours for businesses within the complex, according to officials.
The wheels were being stored there pending restoration, charging documents state.
Scrapped: Ford wrote in charging documents that Kline received about $1,960 for the scrap value of the wheels. He sold 4,871 pounds of wheels in less than two months, police said.
Some of the wheels Kline turned in were still intact, and those wheels had inscriptions that matched the inscriptions on the ones stolen from the Springettsbury Township site, according to authorities. Additionally, the Service Tire Center manager identified the tires as the ones from the business.
The manager at the York City scrapyard provided a copy of Kline's driver's license, which Kline had to present when he sold the wheels, police said.
"Kline has a history of selling stolen items of which he has personally admitted to this officer in the past," Ford wrote in charging documents.
Ford spoke to Kline, who admitted he removed the wheels from the Service Tire Center but claimed he had been given permission by a friend who works there, officials said.
Kline did not say who that friend was, police said.
Carlisle thefts: At the time Springettsbury Township Police filed charges, Carlisle Police also were searching for Kline.
Carlisle Police said in a news release that Kline stole several power tools as well as vacuums from the Lowe's at 851 E. High St. between Jan. 27 and Jan. 30.
Kline was seen loading stolen items from the store into a vehicle on Jan. 27, the release states. That vehicle had a license plate stolen from Spring Garden Township, police said.
On Jan. 30 he also forcibly pulled a cart full of merchandise from an employee's grasp after walking past all of the registers, according to authorities. Police said he loaded the merchandise into another vehicle, which had a license plate stolen from Hanover.
Charges of retail theft and robbery were filed Jan. 25, and he was arraigned on the charges the night of Wednesday, Feb. 13. Online court records state he also is charged with retail theft and receiving stolen property in Hanover.
Kline remains in York County Prison on $40,000 bail. He does not have an attorney listed yet.
His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 27 at District Judge Barry Bloss Jr.'s office.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser