State police last week charged a pair of Youngstown, Ohio, men with stealing a piece of heavy equipment from a dump site in Unity Township in January 2020.

A tip from police in Ohio investigating the theft of a similar piece of construction equipment in August 2020 helped point troopers to Brian James Rose, 38, and Nicholas Scott Kaczmark, 44, both of whom were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Michael Mahady last week on charges of criminal conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property in connection with the Unity Township equipment theft.

Rose and Kaczmark are accused of stealing a 2012 Takeuchi trackloader appraised at more than $54,000 from a site near Frye Farm and East High Acres roads where debris from construction of the Live! Casino at Westmoreland Mall in Hempfield Township was being dumped.

A site foreman for Independent Enterprises of Bridgeville reported the front-end loader missing on Jan. 9, 2020, and reported it appeared the locked gate at the dump site had been removed from its hinges in order to access and load the machine, according to court documents.

Tpr. Jason Morgan of the state police regional motor vehicle theft task force wrote in court documents that Rose and Kaczmark were working for Williamsport-based Lycoming Supply Co. to demolish a water tower near Avonmore at the time of the theft and were staying at the Inn at Mountain View, less than a mile from where the Trackloader was stolen.

Pay statements from Lycoming Supply Co. indicated that Rose and Kaczmark were the only employees assigned to the “Westmoreland Municipal Avonmore Tank” job site between Dec. 18, 2019 and Jan. 17, 2020, according to court documents.

The pay statements and hotel vouchers showing the men stayed at the Inn at Mountain View, Morgan wrote in court documents, meant the men passed the dump site where the Takeuchi trackloader was kept on their way to and from the hotel each day.

“Mr. Rose and Mr. Kaczmark likely observed the Takeuchi on the dump site for several weeks and when the opportunity prevailed, both loaded the machine onto a trailer after leaving the hotel, took the machine with them to the job site due to no other employees being present, and traveled back to Ohio thereafter,” Morgan wrote in court documents.

When no leads initially surfaced following the theft being reported, police logged the theft into a national crime database. Insurers paid Independent Enterprises a claim of $51,812 for the missing front-end loader in February 2020, according to court documents.

The case got a fresh lead in August 2020 when police in Lordstown, Ohio, were investigating the theft of a similar piece of machinery and a trailer from Ohio Commerce Center. A security camera at the business was able to capture the registration plate number from a pickup truck used to haul away the 2014 Bobcat trackloader and 2007 Corn Pro flatbed trailer, according to court documents.

Police in Ohio traced the truck’s registration to Rose’s wife, who was not charged in connection with the Unity Township theft, and located the stolen Takeuchi trackloader at Rose’s home, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Rose and Kaczmark were working at a construction site near Mahaffey in Clearfield County at the time, according to court documents, and Pennsylvania state police were able to locate and interview the men.

Both men denied any wrongdoing. Rose told troopers a tow truck operator named “RJ” brought the trackloader to him several months prior from salvage yard on “the east side of Youngstown” asking him to repair it, according to court documents.

Police obtained warrants to search two cell phones owned by Rose, recovering photographs of Rose’s son and dog on the stolen Takeuchi trackloader in Rose’s yard in May 2020, according to court documents, as well as information related to the theft of the Bobcat machine.

When presented with evidence collected from the phones during an interview in October, Rose admitted that he and Kaczmark rented a trailer and stole the Takeuchi trackloader from the Unity Township site, Morgan wrote in court papers.

Rose and Kaczmark were released on recognizance bond following their arraignments last week and are scheduled to appear before Mahady for preliminary hearings May 3.

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