Greene man arrested in local burglaries, thefts

August 22, 2014
Nathan Andrew Tasker

A Greene County man wanted by state police on a warrant in connection with a rash of burglaries and thefts in Washington County was arrested Thursday as he allegedly was trying to sell more stolen items out of a stolen truck at a Greene County scrap yard.

Nathan Andrew Tasker, 27, of 190 Fieldson Road, Dilliner, is wanted for burglarizing several buildings in Amwell, North Bethlehem and Somerset townships between April 17 and May 7 that resulted in damage or loss to property owners of almost $100,000, said Trooper Douglas Rush, who filed the charges against Tasker. The thefts were at businesses related to the gas-drilling industry.

Rush said police were looking for the Dilliner man for about a week.

“He was playing a cat-and-mouse game with us,” Rush said. “He was selling stolen stuff out of a truck reported stolen in Morgantown, W.Va., at a scrap yard in Jefferson Township and was arrested by state police from Waynesburg.”

Rush said he was able to trace Tasker to the thefts through video surveillance and sales of metal to scrap yards. During the investigation, Rush said he learned that between April 15 and May 13, Tasker sold 2,262 pounds of copper for $5,656.65 at Metallico Assad locations in Brownsville and Uniontown.

Tasker is accused of targeting a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy at 1200 E. National Pike, North Bethlehem, on four occasions. He and another man allegedly arrived at the storage yard between April 17 and 19, cut a hole in the fence and cut 200 feet of heavy industrial wire from trailers.

Tasker allegedly returned to the same location on April 30, May 7 and May 10. In April, police say he and another man stole 1,100 feet of copper wire from equipment used in gas drilling. The wire was valued at $11,000, and damage to the equipment was set at $6,000. On each trip in May, he and his accomplice stole $10,000 in wire and did $6,000 in damage, police said.

Tasker also is accused of stealing heavy-gauge industrial wire from a spool end off a “crew house” parked at Patterson UTI Warren Trucking Yard, Route 519, Somerset, between April 25 and 26. He also allegedly stole wire from inside the crew house.

Two days later, Tasker and another man went to AARCON Enterprises, Routes 40 and 917, North Bethlehem, and stole copper welding leads, police said. They also allegedly cut padlocks off storage trailers and stole hand, welding and power tools, a toolbox, a space heater and other items valued at $5,410.

Police say Tasker and his accomplice stole items from Henkels & McCoy, 394 Ten Mile Road, Amwell, May 7 or 8. They allegedly broke into storage boxes and trailer storage units. Stolen were miscellaneous hand and power tools, two pop-up tents, a welding mask and other items valued at $7,522. They also allegedly stole a utility vehicle owned by Bobby Ray Haddix, who is employed by Gulf Interstate Fuel. The vehicle is valued at $20,000.

Tasker was arraigned before District Judge James Ellis on seven counts each of burglary, criminal mischief, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal trespass and conspiracy to commit burglary, criminal mischief and theft. He was placed in Washington County Jail on $250,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 4 before District Judge Curtis Thompson.

Rush said the investigation is continuing, and additional arrests are pending.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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