A Bradford man is in McKean County Jail after he allegedly stole more than $200,000 in equipment from Keystone Wireline Inc. and took it to a different business.
Richard A. Carpenter, 65, was arraigned Wednesday morning before District Judge Richard Luther on charges of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property, second-degree felonies.
According to the criminal complaint, on April 2, 2020, Bradford Township Police responded to 344 High St. to meet with the president and owner of Keystone Wireline about a theft. The owner said he was missing a large part of his business’s physical inventory.
On April 1, 2020, the owner received a call from his operations manager, who reported that the entire Bradford crew quit. The next day, the owner and the company’s vice president went to the Bradford office to try to contact employees; however, they arrived to find the locks had been changed on the building without consent, court records stated.
Carpenter texted to advise them of the location of a spare key, and they were able to enter.
“It was immediately apparent that many of the tools and equipment were missing from the building and the wireline trucks housed inside,” the complaint stated.
Carpenter contacted the Bradford Township Police, saying he was upset that he was getting calls from people from Keystone Wireline, as “he feels it is harassment because he quit,” according to the complaint. Carpenter told police he heard he is accused of stealing things from the company but said he only removed items that belonged to him or other vendors that he borrowed tools from.
According to court records, Keystone Wireline was unable to complete wireline jobs due to the missing equipment, “essentially rendering Keystone Wireline incapable of conducting business.”
Police were aware that Carpenter had been moving tools and equipment to 591 South Ave. in Bradford Township. An officer went to the address and saw through the window items that were reported missing from Keystone Wireline, court records alleged.
When an officer was able to meet with Carpenter, Carpenter said he was now working as a manager for a different company, Appalachian Well Survey. His shop for Appalachian is located at 591 South Ave., the complaint stated.
Chief Robert Shipman, who filed the charges against Carpenter, told The Era there is no evidence that Appalachian was involved or aware of what Carpenter was doing.
According to the complaint, a former Keystone Wireline employee who had worked under Carpenter told police that he helped move tools and equipment from the Keystone Wireline facility to storage units. Police served search warrants at the two locations and found 296 items belonging to Keystone Wireline valued at approximately $216,000.
Carpenter is in McKean County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail, and a preliminary hearing is set for June 30.