3 charged with stealing 2 tons of vehicle parts

COLLINS, N.Y. (AP) — State police have charged three men with stealing about two tons of vehicle parts from a western New York business.

Troopers say an asphalt business in the Erie County town of Collins contacted state police after noticing items missing from its scrap yard. Police determined the suspects were using a vehicle to get around a locked gate to gain access to the scrap yard.

The thefts started June 15.

Early Sunday morning, troopers staked out the business and observed a pickup truck entering the property. They watched as three men loaded the truck with 38 used commercial vehicle brake drums weighing more 100 pounds each.

When the men tried to drive away, troopers converged and made the arrest.

Francis Chaplin, 32, and Joseph Mooney, 31, both of Buffalo, as well as Shaun Ellison, 33, of Forestville, are all charged with third degree criminal trespass. Chaplin and Mooney are also charged with fourth degree grand larceny, while Ellison is accused of petit larceny.

Chaplin and Mooney were taken to the Erie County Holding Center while Ellison was released to appear in court at a later date.

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