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Korby Beck steals brass railings from Berks County Courthouse, police say

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jun 14 2013 10:10:38 AM CDT
Updated On: Jun 14 2013 10:18:38 PM CDT

Police: Brass rails taken from Berks County Courthouse

READING, Pa. -

A brazen brass thief admitted to stealing railings from the courthouse. And police said the suspect told them he did it because he was tired of being poor.

The front entrance to the Berks County courthouse on 6th Street looks different. There used to be two large brass railings, but now all that's left are the holes where they were anchored.

The courthouse entrance where criminal justice professionals go daily was targeted by a thief.

"I don't understand what money he would get out of the railings anyhow," said lawyer John Forry, "It's not copper that's worth a lot of money."

Court documents state Korby Beck was caught on video stealing one brass railing from the entry way on Saturday, April 27th and then it says he came back for the second early Monday morning.

"Yeah, that's pretty bold," said Forry, "I'm glad they caught him."
Police said the railings were taken to Laurel Street Recycling in Reading and Korby Beck of Leesport was responsible for the sale. At the time, Beck admitted he did sell the brass, but denied he stole it.

Police said another railing from a historic Centre Avenue home was also taken on April 25th a couple days before the court house thefts.

"The neighbors were talking somebody came up one night just took the railing off," said Nelson Stubbs.

The railing was over a hundred years old.

"A number of years ago they were stealing rain spouts, and the gutters because they were all solid brass or copper," said Maryann Stubbs.
People have heard of other large metal thefts before but what is remarkable about these three railings is they were in such public open spaces.

"I was really surprised," said Maryann Stubbs.
Police said Beck confessed Wednesday when he was shown the evidence. The arresting officer waxed poetic saying Beck had twin pools of fear and regret when he responded to the question why. He said Beck stated, "I was just so tired of being poor."

Courthouse employees said they couldn't believe the audacity of the crime.