St. Louis County man charged with stealing over $17K in scrap metal

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BRIDGETON, MO (KPLR) - A St. Louis County man, accused of stealing tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of scrap metal, now faces jail time.

Bridgeton police say he targeted several businesses in an industrial area, including Key Equipment and Supply.  The company builds and sells garbage trucks, street sweepers, and other municipal equipment. All that work creates tons of scrap metal, worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars.  Company President Steve Hyink says, “We’ll sell that scrap, and then we’ll put that into the fund for new tooling, or a nice barbecue, or something we can do for the guys here, because it’s hard work.”

But for three nights in a row, 21 year-old Acie Campbell admitted to snatching that scrap from the Bridgeton company’s dumpsters.

“We felt very violated,” Hyink explains, “I mean, they took stuff from us, even though we consider it scrap, it’s our scrap.  We own that scrap, and it’s part of our income.”

According to the criminal complaint, Campbell is also accused of stealing $1,000 worth of metal pipes from the company next door, and more than $17,000 worth of scrap from Bob’s Auto Parts.

Bob's Auto Parts owner Rick Goebel says, “The first time they broke in, they went through the front gate, they cut the lock on it, they drove down into the yard and loaded up a large container of auto parts. They drove right back out with it, and then two days later, they came back and broke into a trailer and stole a bunch of radiators.”

Bridgeton police say Campbell sold all the stolen scrap to a Wellston scrap yard.  The scrap yard owner got suspicious, and eventually, the stolen goods were traced back to these Bridgeton businesses.

Campbell now faces three felony charges of stealing over $500.  He has also been charged with theft in St. Charles County.

Hyink says, “They had enough evidence, and he actually admitted that he stole the stuff, so at that point, I think there’s very little to do other than, you go to jail.”

When the suspect admitted to stealing from these three businesses, he also confessed to working with an accomplice.  Police say that individual is not in custody.

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