Three Carroll County employees were arrested in a state police sting operation Tuesday and charged with stealing recyclable metals from the Hoods Mill landfill.
Two suspects were charged with stealing the scrap metals from 1985 until their arrests.
The metals were sold to a Pennsylvania recycler for cash, police said. No dollar value was put on the goods.
Richard Lee Sell, 39, of the 2500 block of Mayberry Road, Westminster, and Martin D. Norwood, 47, of the 5400 block of Buffalo Road, Taylorsville, were charged with extended theft, the Tuesday theft and conspiracy.
The third suspect, Donald V. Rhoten, 35, of the 1900 block of Albert Rill Road, Hampstead, was charged with theft and conspiracy.
All three were released on their own recognizance.
Tfc. John N. Reininger Jr. said police marked scrap metals and copper tubing, and placed them on a recyclable heap at the landfill after they received a complaint from county officials.
Carroll officials were concerned about theft because the county sells metals brought to its two landfills to a recycler.
The trooper said police observed a pickup truck coming out of the landfill with some of the marked metals and copper tubing.
The troopers reported that they stopped the truck at routes 97 and 32, verified the markings on the tubing and other metals in the vehicle, and arrested Mr. Sell, the driver.