By Brad Segall
ORELAND, Pa. (CBS) — A Montgomery County husband and wife will spend time behind bars and have been ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to stealing copper wire along the SEPTA train tracks in Oreland and North Hills.
SEPTA and PECO officials say Mark and Patricia Andrews of Springfield Township caused more than a million and half dollars in damage when they used bolt cutters to rip down the copper wires from poles along the tracks last September.
Montgomery County prosecutor Steven Bunn says 40-year-old Mark and his 40-year-old wife Patricia, of Station Avenue, pleaded guilty to theft, criminal mischief, conspiracy, and reckless endangerment.
“It’s very dangerous because the railroads need the signals from those wires to operate properly, and when these defendants cut down those wires if they would have chosen the wrong time and a train had been passing through, it could have been a disaster,” Bunn says.
Mark Andrews was sentenced to 10 to 23 months in jail; Patricia got time served. She told the court they were scrapping the wire to help support a drug addiction.
Bunn says an eyewitness called police to report the couple cutting the wires and putting them in a bag.