Hagerstown man pleads guilty to charges in connection with copper thefts

July 22, 2011|By DON AINES |
  • These five people have been charged in connection with thefts of precious metals. Top row, from left, Patrick Jon Kemmerer, Gregory Lee Mason Jr. and Steven Craig Munson; bottom row, from left, Talib L. Simmons and Stacey Nicole Smoot.
Submitted photos

One of three people arrested earlier this year on charges of stealing copper pipes and scrap metal from private properties and businesses pleaded guilty this week in Washington County Circuit Court.

Patrick Jon Kemmerer, 20, of 870 Frederick St., Hagerstown, will be sentenced in October following a presentence investigation, Judge Daniel P. Dwyer said.

Kemmerer pleaded guilty to charges of second-degree burglary and criminal conspiracy to commit fourth-degree burglary.

The second-degree burglary case involved the theft of copper wire, antiques and other items in January from a storage building at an orchard on Fruit Tree Drive in the Smithsburg area belonging to Matthew and Mary Harsh, according to the application for statement of charges.

The property was entered more than once over a period of a few days, Assistant State's Attorney Michele Hansen told Dwyer.

The other case involved the theft of 36 radiators from Elwood's Auto Exchange, 21411 Jefferson Blvd., Smithsburg, Hansen said. The radiators were stolen on Feb. 5, with the tires of Kemmerer's pickup truck leaving tracks across a snow-covered field, she said.

Most of the radiators were dumped in a field near Old Forge and Shiloh Church roads and were recovered the next day, Hansen said.

In exchange for the plea, related charges in the two cases were dismissed, as well as all the charges in another case involving one of the burglaries at the Harsh orchard, Hansen said.

An accomplice, Steven C. Munson, 23, of 66 E. North Ave., pleaded guilty to related charges in June and is awaiting sentencing, according to court records.

Stacey Nicole Smoot, 29, of 226 E. Franklin St., is also awaiting trial, court records said.

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