City man charged with stealing batteries

An Altoona man faces felony charges in Cambria County after allegedly stealing batteries from school buses and heavy equipment late last month.

Kenneth L. Lampenfeld, 24, of 1412 First St., who is currently lodged in Blair County Prison, is accused of stealing batteries from buses and other vehicles parked in Reade Township.

According to a criminal complaint filed by state police at Ebensburg, Lampenfeld worked with another man to take the batteries from buses and heavy equipment parked near Reynolds Auto and Bender Coal Co.

The stolen batteries totaled about $5,444, police said.

Following a report that Lampenfeld may have been involved in the thefts, officers checked his Facebook account, according to the complaint.

The search showed a photograph of a Chevy Colorado truck parked at an Altoona Sheetz store, police said.

Text below the photo read: “Little Chevy doing big things. Hopefully, it doesn’t break,” according to the complaint, which noted that the truck’s bed was covered by a blue tarp.

After visiting numerous Altoona-area scrap yards Thursday, police found that a man with ties to Lampenfeld had received $445 in exchange for 1,780 pounds of scrap at the Charles Caracciolo Steel and Metal Yard, according to the complaint.

The description of that scrap was listed as “batt,” police said.

On Friday, police again were called to Bender Coal Co., where it was reported another 12 to 14 batteries were stolen from heavy equipment.

Police then visited the home of Lampenfeld, who was wanted on a separate arrest warrant, and found the Chevy Colorado with a blue tarp parked outside, according to the complaint.

Police said Lampenfeld eventually admitted to stealing the batteries from the Reade Township business and from locations in Clearfield County.

Lampenfield was arraigned Monday before Magisterial District Judge Michael Zungali.

He faces three felony charges of theft by unlawful taking, as well as three misdemeanor counts each of defiant trespass and criminal mischief.

Lampenfeld is to appear for a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Feb. 27 before Zungali, online court records show.

Mirror Staff Writer Sean Sauro is at 946-7535.