Forestville man arrested in scrap yard theft

COLLINS – A Forestville man has been arrested and charged in connection with the theft of scrap yard material from a Collins business. Shaun I. Ellison, 33, was charged with petit larceny and third degree criminal trespass and released on appearance tickets from the Collins Town Court after his arrest by State Police Collins Barracks troopers around 4 a.m. Sunday.

Also arrested and charged with fourth degree grand larceny, a felony, and third degree criminal trespass were two Buffalo residents, 32-year-old Francis G. Chaplin and 31-year-old Joseph C. Mooney. They were arraigned in Collins Town Court and remanded to the Erie County Holding Center.

The arrests were the result of an investigation that began after an asphalt business based in Collins contacted the State Police Collins Barracks after employees noticed suspicious tire tracks and several items missing from the scrap yard. The preliminary investigation determined the suspects were maneuvering around a locked gate and gaining access to the scrap yard contents. Troopers working with business employees determined the thefts started on Sunday, June 15 and continued undetected throughout the week.

During the early morning hours of Sunday, troopers initiated stationary surveillance of the access gate being used by the suspect vehicle. At approximately 3:30 a.m., a 1999 Chevrolet pickup truck was observed entering the scrap yard property.

Troopers monitored the suspects as they loaded 38 used commercial vehicle brake drums, weighing in excess of 100 pounds each, into the rear of the pickup truck. While the suspects attempted to exit the scrap yard, troopers converged on them and placed them in custody.

All three men are due back in Collins court at a later date.