Man accused of trying to sell stolen scrap metal to the place he stole it from

By Sara Gouedy - bio | email

NEWPORT, KY (FOX19) -- A Fort Thomas man faces charges that he tried to steal metal from a scrapyard, and sell it right back to the same place.

Employees at River Metals Recycling in Newport say they caught this man because of an extensive security system on this property, including security mirrors.

Managers say once they noticed what they believe Richard Kemplin was doing, it was only a matter of calling the police.

Arvil Pennington says all he needs to prove what Kemplin tired to do early Wednesday morning lies inside a bag.

Pennington says Kemplin slowly gathered the metal from the back of River Metals Recycling, with the intention of selling it right back to the business.

"A typical thief would jump the fence and get more metals," said Pennington.

Pennington says what's in the bag seems unusual mainly because it's mostly cans and a few scrap pieces, all of which he says his security team observed being taken over about four hours Wednesday morning.

"If we catch somebody trying to play games or trying to steal from us, we're not going to do business with them," said Pennington.

Newport police estimated in their initial report that the value of all that's inside the bag only reached about $35.

Pennington says regardless, the metals market has become too valuable for his business to let even one theft slip by them.

He also says this might not be the first time someone's tried a tactic like this.

"I think it happens pretty often, yes," he said. "We caught the guy this time."

Another interesting part of this case is how forgiving management is at this scrapyard.

Pennington said pending the outcome of this case, and if Kemplin is "straightened out," he'd even consider offering him a job in the future if he wanted one.