2 plead guilty to wire theft after Joplin tornado

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — Two men admit they stole copper wire from utility poles while the city of Joplin recovered from a devastating tornado in May 2011.

Forty-five-year-old Timothy M. Silveria of Joplin and 32-year-old Nycoa K. Kracht of Laurel, Ind., pleaded guilty Monday to felony counts of theft from a public utility. They face up to seven years in prison during sentencing July 22.

The Joplin Globe reports (http://bit.ly/1181mLH ) that a third man, 43-year-old Dennis Ray of Joplin, was sentenced to three years in prison for the same charge.

Police arrested the defendants three days after the tornado, which killed 161 people.

More than $500 worth of copper was found in the men’s truck. Kracht told police they were going to donate money they got for the scrap metal to tornado victims.

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Information from: The Joplin (Mo.) Globe, http://www.joplinglobe.com

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