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USA - 2 men charged with stealing more than 11 tons of stainless steel

BUFFALO, Iowa — Buffalo police have arrested two Muscatine men in connection with the theft of more than $32,000 in stainless steel castings from the LaFarge Corp. in Buffalo.

Buffalo police Cpl. Rich Aleksiejczyk said Larry A. Wendt, 46, and Jason Garrett, 32, both are charged with first-degree theft. They were arrested late this week. Both since have been released on bond from the Scott County Jail, Aleksiejczyk said.

He said they believe the thefts took place over at least a three-month period and involved 22,500 pounds of missing stainless steel castings, a piece of machinery used by LaFarge. Each casting weighs 85 pounds, he said.

Buffalo police began investigating after LaFarge officials contacted them. Aleksiejczyk said they believe the vehicle used in the theft was less than a one-ton pickup truck, “so it had to be orchestrated over multiple, multiple nights.”

He said most of the castings have been sold, but police have confiscated some of the stolen pieces.

The investigation involved the assistance of the Scott and Muscatine county sheriff’s departments, and the 7th Judicial District Department of Correctional Services.

He said the investigation is still ongoing and additional arrests are expected.

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