Harford County

Pennsylvania man gets prison term for stealing from Bel Air construction site

A Pennsylvania man will spend seven years in prison for stealing tons of steel materials from a Bel Air construction site over a period of several months during 2011, the Harford County State's Attorney's Office said.

John Michael Schene, 49, of York, was sentenced Tuesday in Harford County Circuit Court and will serve his prison term in the Maryland Division of Corrections, State's Attorney Joseph Cassilly said in a news release.

According to the release, Schene confessed to entering the yard of Lee Foundation Company's job site at a sewage pumping station in Bel Air on at least eight to 10 occasions and stealing approximately 25,000 pounds of steel concrete reinforcing bars, steel concrete form parts and various pieces of miscellaneous steel slated for use in building a foundation for the pumping station. The thefts occurred between May and October 2011.

A surveillance camera placed on the job site by Lee Foundation showed Schene loading the materials into his pickup truck for later sale to scrap dealers, according to the news release.

Schene was convicted in August 2013 of a theft scheme of more than $1,000 but less than $10,000. Sentencing was delayed until this week after Schene discharged his trial attorney and retained a new lawyer to represent him at the sentencing, the State's Attorney's Office said.

Harford Circuit Judge M. Elizabeth Bowen imposed a prison sentence of 10 years, with three years suspended, followed by five years supervised probation.

Schene was also ordered to pay $20,080 in restitution to Lee Foundation Company for theft of materials from the job site and for cost overruns experienced by the company caused by work interruptions resulting from the thefts, the State's Attorney's Office said.

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