Police say thieves targeted cardboard

From left: Kevin W. Bullock, Daron J. Hodges and Rashad Weaver

Lancaster city police have arrested people for stealing lots of stuff, including scrap metal, cell phones and guns.

Officers Wednesday arrested three Maryland men, using a rented truck, for allegedly trying to steal cardboard from Costco and Walmart stores.

Yes, cardboard.

"I can honestly say, no, we have never had anyone steal cardboard before," Lt. Todd Umstead said. "That's a first."

Believe it or not, cardboard thefts are on the rise elsewhere, with recent arrests reported in Florida, New York, Connecticut, California and Georgia.

Thieves, often in rented trucks, target stores, often the big-box variety, scooping up bundled pallets of cardboard as they try to trade recyclable materials for cash.

Here, an employee of Costco, 1875 Hempstead Road, called city police about 2 p.m. Wednesday, saying that three men had stolen three or four pallets of cardboard and then left in a large yellow rental truck.

About 15 minutes later, police spotted the truck in the parking lot of Walmart, 2030 Fruitville Pike, in Manheim Township.

The three men were in the process of loading more pallets of cardboard into the truck there. A witness identified them as the same men who had allegedly taken the cardboard from Costco.

The cardboard is worth about $150 per pallet. The men had taken about $1,200 worth of it.

Arrested were: Kevin W. Bullock, 39, of Owings Mill, Md.; Daron J. Hodges, 43, of Baltimore; and Rashad Weaver, 20, of Baltimore.

The three men were charged with theft and criminal conspiracy.

They are in Lancaster County Prison, in lieu of $100,000 bail each.

cstauffer@lnpnews.com

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