An area man, who had formerly supervised operations at the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, is facing felony charges in connection with the alleged theft of tons of scrap metal. The 51-year-old man was accused of stealing the scrap metal and selling it for profit after police officers allegedly discovered airport equipment at another employee's house.

The suspect is facing two felony charges in connection with the alleged scrap metal theft, according to local law enforcement representatives.

That person had said that the suspect asked him to store the equipment, a salt spreader and a trailer, at his home until they could be sold. Officers said that the ensuing investigation revealed that the suspect was likely taking the scrap metal that belonged to the airport and selling it for his own financial gain.

Officers say that other employees also participated in the alleged scheme, with the older man serving as the ringleader. None of those reportedly connected to the accusations, except for the operations supervisor, have been received court summonses, according to facility representatives.

Police said they had evidence that the man had disposed of 13.2 tons of scrap metal during December 2011 and January 2012, for which he received more than $4,000. There were other receipts in the man's office, investigators allege, which showed that the man had stolen another 18 tons of scrap metal, selling it for a profit of about $5,000.

The airport discovered the discrepancies because administrators there contract with an outside company for their scrap metal disposal. Airport authorities say their internal investigation into the matter is closed, and are letting police proceed.

The suspect is currently in custody in St. Louis, according to reports. He has not yet been scheduled for a court date, and it is not clear whether he has posted bond or bail.

Since felony charges carry lifelong consequences, it's important to move forward with such criminal cases in a thoughtful manner. If you're charged with a felony, it may not be wise to make important decisions, such as agreeing to a deal, before the evidence is carefully scrutinized. In some cases of theft, parties can agree to pay restitution or find another favorable outcome to the case.

Source: The Post-Dispatch, "Former St. Louis airport worker faces theft charges," Ken Leiser, July 3, 2012