Greenhouse copper thief has been caught and in police custody

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WYOMING, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A man is caught on camera stealing copper pipes from a greenhouse and tonight Wyoming Borough Police says he’s now in their custody.

However, the burglary could have a devastating impact on the small business.

People at the greenhouse say the burglar was brazen and experienced. Judging from the surveillance footage, they suspect he’s done this before, possibly in Old Forge last week.

Nanticoke Police arrested 53-year-old Patrick Lee Staley Monday evening. They say he’s the man who was caught on camera stealing copper pipes from Kasarda’s Greenhouse in Wyoming Borough. The burglary happened early Saturday morning.

“Found out Saturday, worried for the safety of employees,” said Suzie Kane.

Kane who owns the greenhouse says the theft rendered at least one of their greenhouses unusable. She’s concerned it will affect their product supply for the fall.

“When you cut a greenhouse from its irrigation. Obviously, that’s a big deal,” stated Kane.

Wyoming Borough Police Chief Chris Mercavitch says Staley tried to dismantle their security camera before taking off. He’s seen driving away with the pipes in his back seat.

A man in Old Forge says he thinks it could be the same person he saw on his security camera last week. It happened Tuesday morning when he was at work but his wife’s kids were home.

“I’m able to talk through my cameras and I started yelling, ‘what are you doing under my carport can I help you with something?’ and there was never a response.” That’s the worst part of it, is not knowing what is he there for and not being able to be there to protect your family,” said the homeowner in Old Forge.

His family is still shaken up, the Old Forge man wanted to remain anonymous for safety reasons. He says the burglar stole a full gas can from his carport.

Chief Mercavitch says they’re looking into whether it’s the same person. Staley will be arraigned overnight at the county jail.

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