Scrap yard worker charged with theft
Christopher H. Gray, 40, Big Falls, was charged with felony theft.
Gray is accused of stealing truck loads of scrap metal from his employer, Alter Materials, in Waupaca.
In the early evening of Tuesday, Dec. 3, the manager of Alter Materials met with Detective Sgt. Brian Hoelzel and Sgt. Mario Graceffa, with the Waupaca Police Department. He reported he suspected Gray was stealing from the company.
Gray worked on the night shift, operating a crane.
The manager said a security video showed the magnetic head of a crane swing into view with a load of material, move outside the camera’s view, then return empty to the material pile. There were no company trucks being loaded at the time.
The manager said he believed Gray was loading the materials into his own truck.
A records check indicated Gray owned a red 1992 Ford 350 pickup truck.
Shortly after midnight, Graceffa and Officer Jeremy Mulroy stationed themselves in parked cars about two blocks from Alter Materials. About an hour later, the manager called Graceffa and reported that he had seen Gray dump two loads into the back of his truck.
Shortly before 4 a.m., Graceffa and Mulroy pulled Gray’s truck over as it was heading south on Industrial Drive. They took Gray to the county jail for questioning.
In Gray’s wallet, investigators found $993 in cash and a business card for Fox Valley Recycling in Omro.
According to the criminal complaint, Gray told police that he had taken between 30 and 35 loads of materials, which he allegedly sold for more than $15,000.
He faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted of felony theft.