There are easier ways to make a few bucks.
But police say three brothers decided stealing metal storm drain grates from a parking lot and other scrap metal from a dumpster were good ways to make a few extra dollars. Now all three face misdemeanor charges.
Vernon Hall, 44, Ricky Hall, 43, and Kenneth Hall, 39, were charged on Jan. 11 after police say they worked together to orchestrate two separate larcenies in Harrison over the last two months.
Police say Vernon Hall worked with Kenneth Hall to steal storm drain grates from a parking lot on Corporate Park Drive last month. Vernon then worked with his other brother, Ricky Hall, to steal scrap metal from a dumpster at the Journal News building on Gannett Drive in early January, police said.
Police believe the brothers were all working together, but said only Vernon Hall was present at the scene both times.
The case first got the attention of police when the storm drain grates were reported stolen in late December. Although only valued at about $50 at area scrap metal yards, police say removing the drains created a hazard for cars in the area.
"Obviously that creates a very dangerous situation," said Police Chief Anthony Marraccini. "When somebody is taking those grates off somebody else can just drive right into them."
Four grates went missing, but police didn't catch a break in the case until earlier this month when David Nolan, the facilities manager at the Journal News building, reported that two men stole scrap metal from a dumpster on his property.
Nolan told police that on Jan. 6 two men, later identified as Vernon and Ricky Hall, approached a mechanic loading scrap metal into a dumpster on the property. The mechanic told the men they weren't authorized to be in the area and asked them to leave.
But security footage at 1 Gannett Drive showed Vernon and Ricky Hall returning three times the following evening, police said. The two used a large, rusty, truck to take the metal from the dumpster, according to arrest reports.
Not knowing who the men were at the time, Nolan called an area scrap yard where an employee told him two men had sold him scrap metal the night of the incident, according to arrest reports. The scrap yard employee later identified Ricky and Vernon Hall from the surveillance footage as the men who had sold him the metal.
Harrison Police were able to track down Ricky and Vernon Hall two days later. The brothers were charged with three counts of petit larceny—misdemeanors—along with three counts of trespassing.
While interviewing the two, police determined that Vernon Hall had worked with his other brother, Kenneth, to steal the storm drain grates on Corporate Park Drive, police said.
Kenneth and Vernon Hall were charged with misdemeanor petit larceny and reckless endangerment.
Police say all three had warrants out from other jurisdictions. The brothers were processed at Harrison Police Headquarters and transported to various municipalities to answer to the other charges.