4 Indicted Following Aberdeen Proving Ground Metal Theft

Four men allegedly stole government property in the form of copper and aluminum.

Four men were recently arrested and accused of theft of government property at .

The indictments were announced by Rod J. Rosenstein, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, in a statement Friday.

Timothy J. Bittner, 52, of Bel Air, Robert W. Reynolds, 29, of Felton, PA, and Steven M. Coale, 33, of North East, were charged in one indictment with conspiracy to steal and theft of government property. The indictment covered copper wire worth approximately $87,000, according to the statement.

Ronald Phillips Baker, Sr., 62, of Havre de Grace, was also charged with theft of government property. The second indictment covered 2,700 pounds of aluminum worth more than $110,000, according to the statement.

Bittner was arrested Friday, according to the statement, with an initial court appearance scheduled for Friday afternoon. The other defendants are scheduled for initial appearances next week, officials stated.

The four defendants face up to 10 years in prison for theft of government property. The first indictment carries up to five years in prison for conspiracy to steal government property.

Bittner, Reynolds and Coale were electricians with APG's Directorate of Public Works, and between March and November 2011, they allegedly used their access to buildings in the Edgewood area of APG to steal copper fixtures and copper wire, according to a statement.

Investigators believe the men rented a storage space and stripped the insulation from the wire, increasing the price of the copper, which they ultimately sold to recyclers in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware for $87,000, according to a release.

According to a release, Baker operated a patrol boat on the Chesapeake Bay and on April 23, 2012, accessed fabricated aluminum outriggers weighing 2,740 pounds. From September 2010 through April 2012, Baker allegedly stole 27,000 pounds of aluminum, the indictment stated.

"The indictments should send a strong message that this type of egregious behavior—allegations of theft while supposedly working on the Government clock, to include even stripping active copper wire from an APG building—will not be tolerated," Robert Craig, Special Agent in Charge for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Mid-Atlantic Field Office, said in a statement.

Leslie Schildgen June 11, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Wow. . . amazing how law enforcement catches people like this. I'm impressed
Leonard June 28, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Don't be impressed, the dummies used their real Identification selling the copper. I'm not sure how the one with the aluminum got himself caught, but trust me I rode with CID years ago on a theft case like this and was on a stake out with him to identify the theif and his vehicle.
Gov Contractor July 08, 2012 at 03:00 AM
Next they should target those stealing leave and time , target those creating bogus overtime so they can supplement their income. Lets explore APG government employees use it or lose it spending policy and conferences for leisure partying purposes.
george stiles August 09, 2012 at 03:59 AM
There should be hundreds of comments on this one. These dirt bags might as well put their hand in our pockets and take the money since our taxes bought the stuff in the first place. I agree with GOV CONTRACTOR, APG employees stealing leave and time is the same as stealing materials. However, we must not forget "SOME" dishonest Harford County employees. I recently set a large lawn tractor out for bulk trash pickup since I live in the town limits of Bel Air. A short time later two guys drove by in a Harford County Department of Highways truck and asked me if they could have the tractor. I told them it was okay with me but it had to be gone by the end of the day. They said they needed to go back to the highway complex near Hickory and get a trailer so they could take the tractor to a farm in northern Harford County. About an hour later they returned to my house with the trailer. I asked them why they were in a development located within the town limits with a Harford Country Highway truck and they told me there was an auction in my neighborhood the next weekend and they wanted to check out the address. What's the difference if these guys are stealing time or materials from the taxpayers? The honest government employee should also be concerned with these thieves stealing from them. I know of many other incidents such as this one and I blame it on the individuals running these Federal and County Departments.


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