Thief gets jail time for copper wire theft

May 25—A Crawford County man has been given the maximum county jail sentence for stealing and then selling more than 850 pounds of commercial copper wire last year.

Joshua L. Eckert, 33, whose address is listed as the Crawford County jail, Saegertown, was sentenced Wednesday by Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge Mark Stevens to serve 11 1/2 months to 24 months less one day in the county jail for theft. Stevens gave Eckert 233 days jail credit, but also ordered him to serve 36 months of probation which will run at the same time as the jail sentence.

Eckert also was ordered by Stevens to pay $5,152.12 in restitution to First Energy Corp. for the theft.

Eckert pleaded guilty to a third-degree felony count of theft in county court in April. He had faced up to a maximum of seven years in jail.

West Mead Township Police Department charged Eckert with a break-in at First Energy Corp.’s Penelec storage facility on Park Avenue Extension in the township on Sept. 1, 2022. Police said a significant amount of commercial copper wire had been stolen, taken out through an opening in the metal fence around the facility, according to court documents.

The police investigation found Eckert took 853 pounds of commercial copper wire to Lincoln Recycling Center between Aug. 3 and Sept. 1, according to court documents.

The wire was valued at $5,152.12 and Eckert was paid $2,260 for the wire sold to the recycling center, Craig Howe, the county’s first assistant district attorney, told the court.

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at

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