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Four People Are In Jail After Stealing Copper From Mine Causing 4 Million Dollars In Damages

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WYOMING COUNTY, WV (WOAY) – Four people are in jail after going to Mission Coal Company and stealing copper wire and high voltage cable wire.  The total costs of the damage are around four million dollars.

According to state police, on Thursday, January 24, 2019, at around 1:30 pm State Police received a call of a theft at Mission Coal Company off of Welch Pineville Road in Wyoming County.  It was discovered that someone had stolen copper out of several large transformers totaling at least 400,000 thousand dollars.  Employees from Pinnacle Minning seen two people on the property trespassing and then later in the day another employee saw them on the property.  The plant superintendent observed a truck that had a load of material in the bed that was covered with a tarp.  Employees were able to get the license number of the truck.

Security checked and found that mine portals #1, #3, and #5 had been breached and someone had been in the mine.  Three hundred hundred feet of high voltage cable wire, valued at 1,600 dollars had been cut and stolen inside the mine.   On another date, an employee discovered that several transformers were cut open and copper coils were removed.  A cutting torch was used to cut open the sides of the transformers and removed the copper coils.  A single oxygen bottle on the ground to the side matched the type Pinnacle used on their plant.

On Friday, February 1, 2019, Police arrived at Barker’s Junk Company in Mabscott and observed the truck that matched the license plate and found that it was registered to Keith Ross of Oak Hill, Kenneth Clement Jr. of Robson, Richard Walker of Kincaid, Amanda Bickford of Oak Hill and Brittany Bradley of Eccles inside the truck.

Receipt transactions showed that Kenneth Clement and his father Kenneth Vickers had two transactions totaling 719.90.  Mr. Vicers had 105 total transactions totaling 107,745.70 since 11-24-2015.

Kenneth Clement confessed to going to the mine property on numbers occasions with his father, Kenneth Vickers who took him and showed him how to steal copper wire.  Clement told police that his father, Kenneth Vickers, cut the transformers open using a cutting torch.  The losses suffered by Mission Coal came from the destroyed transformers and damages are estimated to exceed 4 million dollars.

A search warrant was obtained for the truck and materials that were stolen and equipment used to steal were discovered.  8 Haulage stations destroyed by Clement and Walker cost approximately one million dollars each. The estimated repair cost including installation fees for this one site was more than 100,000 dollars.

Richard Walker is charged with grand larceny, felony destruction of property, and conspiracy.  He is in jail on a 25,000 dollar bond.

Kenneth Vickers is charged with grand larceny, conspiracy, and destruction of property. He is in jail on a 30,000 dollar bond.

Kenneth Clement Jr. is charged with three counts of grand larceny, destruction of property, and conspiracy.  He is in jail on a 75,000 dollar bond.

Justin Stover is charged with grand larceny, conspiracy to commit a felony, and destruction of property. His bond has not been posted yet.



Tyler Barker

Tyler Barker is currently the Interim News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. I was promoted to this job in Mid-November. I still will fill in on weather from time to time. Follow me on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email me at tbarker@woay.com


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