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A Calvert County man has been charged through a summons with a theft offense in court papers alleging he stole materials valued at $45,000 last month from a St. Mary’s excavation business where he once worked.

Timothy Brian Conner, 49, was employed about two years ago at A.C. Mattingly Mechanical Services and Dirt Works Excavation in Leonardtown, where property reported missing in December included more than five tons of metal including steel sheeting, loader arms, a crane’s spreader bar, an air compressor and a generator, according to charging papers from the investigation.

Conner sold the items on Dec. 19 to Super Salvage, a local scrap metal yard, and received $674 after he provided his driver’s license, as required by law, St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputy Melissa Green wrote in a charges application.

Aaron Mattingly, the business’ owner, said this week that the theft of his property took place at about 3 a.m., by someone who avoided detection by the business’ security cameras.

“He took my forklift and loaded it,” Mattingly said, into a large truck with a trailer, and the items quickly were cut up upon their arrival at the salvage business.

Mattingly said that the suspect worked for him for about six months.

Sheriff’s Capt. Steven Hall said last week that the thefts of property later sold as scrap metal have escalated into a “perfect storm” as the price of the metals increases amid a still sluggish economy, and that salvage yards generally have been helpful in tracking illegal activity.

“The only thing they’re required to do is inventory what they receive and from whom,” Hall said, adding that the salvage businesses have a good reason to try to avoid paying for stolen property, as the police can and will return it to its rightful owner.

“They’re making an attempt,” the captain said. “There’s always room for improvement.”

Two charged in theft from salvage yard

In a separate matter, James Nelson Carter, 56, and Toni Lee Adelman, 47, both of Valley Lee have been charged through summonses with theft offenses filed by Maryland State Police investigating the loss of metal last fall at Ship Point Metal in Hollywood.

Witnesses saw two people putting metal into the back of a pickup truck at the business on the morning of Nov. 11, court papers state, and the owner reported that galvanized steel valued at more than $100 was missing.

Carter and Adelman were developed as suspects in the case, court papers state, through the investigation by state police Trooper E.R. Mersman.

Thefts at hardware store alleged

In addition, Margaret Virginia Windsor, 47, and her 28-year-old son, William Stuart Windsor, both of Waldorf, have been charged through summonses with theft offenses in court papers alleging that he left the True Value hardware store in Charlotte Hall with unpurchased items last month while she worked there at a cash register.

The two suspects were charged with stealing Christmas decorations, a coffee maker and money from the business, through the investigation by St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputy William Watters. Court papers estimated the total loss at $405.

Chef charged with theft

Additionally, Jorge Christian Lagares, 28, of Leonardtown has been charged through a summons with theft offenses in court papers alleging he stole $1,171 last month from the California’s Place restaurant, where the owner reported that two checks taken from a desk drawer were forged and cashed at a bank.

Patrick P. Kleinclaus, the owner of the business, told police that the suspect was employed there as a chef, and that its office is near the kitchen, according to court papers filed by Trooper S. M. DiTito of the Maryland State Police.

jwharton@somdnews.com