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.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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