Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

December 29, 2013

Man arrested on charge of copper theft from mine

CARETTA — A Logan County man was arrested Saturday afternoon on two felony counts and two misdemeanor counts involving the theft of copper from an idled McDowell County coal mine.

Frank Kovach Jr., 41, of Kistler, was being processed at the Welch Detachment of the West Virginia State Police, according to Trooper C.A. Dunn of the West Virginia State Police.

“I was called out to the Roadfork Mine a little after 11:30 a.m.,” Dunn said. “The mine is not active right now, but there are security personnel there full time.”

He said that Kovach and another man who fled on foot from the mine site had removed a section of miner cable from the mine and had loaded it in a pickup truck.

“They also caused a total of $2,000 worth of damage to four miner trees in the mine,” Dunn said of electrical units in the mine.

“They also damaged a tram in the mine, causing about $500 worth of damage,” Dunn said.

Dunn said that the copper miner cable was valued at about $100. Dunn said he charged Kovach with one felony count of destruction of property, an additional felony count of theft; along with one misdemeanor count of petit larceny and an additional misdemeanor count of trespassing.

“The man we have in custody provided a name of the other male who fled the scene, but I have no way of verifying that name at this time,” Dunn said. “He said he was also from Logan County and was in his late 20s or early 30s, but I have no way of verifying that either,” Dunn said. He added that the case remains under investigation.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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