Molds stolen from Palm Plastics 7.2

Written by David Green.

When Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks received a report about the theft of expensive brass molds from a local factory, he paid a visit to local scrap metal buyers.

On his fourth try, he found what he was after and an employee of Morenci’s Palm Plastics factory now faces larceny charges for taking nearly $90,000 worth of molds.

Matthew Jay Harsh, 24, of Washington St., Morenci, was arraigned June 25 for the theft and faces two counts of larceny $20,000 or more and one count of larceny $1,000 to $20,000.

Palm Plastics president Jeffrey Owen discovered 10 molds were missing from the factory in May. The specially-designed molds were created in Europe for a manufacturing process at the plastics plant.

The molds weighed about 50 pounds each and Weeks suspected they might have been sold for scrap due to the high prices for scrap metal.

A scrap buyer near Fayette remembered buying unusual looking items and told Weeks he paid about $90 for each one. He told Weeks the identity of the seller who was an employee at Palm.

Harsh confessed to taking the molds, but he told Weeks he didn’t believe they were of any value. He thought they were to be thrown out, although they were wrapped and stored inside the plant.

Weeks was told the molds were already melted down due to the time lag between the theft in April and the questioning of Harsh.

Harsh admitted to stealing six molds, Weeks said, but four additional molds were taken. Weeks is asking anyone with information about the theft to call the police station at 458-7104.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017