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Sycamore man ticketed in fatal crash charged with unrelated felonies

Published: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:22 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 11:38 p.m. CDT
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Benjamin Black, 28, of the 1500 block of Sparkhayes Drive in Sycamore, is being held on $100,000 bond for allegedly stealing more than $4,000 of coiled copper and brass from American Cold-Headed Products in Cortland.

SYCAMORE – The Sycamore man involved in the fatal crash of an 11-year-old Sycamore boy in February is being held in jail after being charged with unrelated felony theft charges Wednesday.

Benjamin Black, 28, of the 1500 block of Sparkhayes Drive in Sycamore, is being held on $100,000 bond for allegedly stealing more than $4,000 of coiled copper and brass from American Cold-Headed Products in Cortland.

Black was ticketed in a Feb. 27 crash where he rear-ended a 1999 Cavalier and injured 18-year-old Teale Noble, 21-year-old Nicholas Weber and his younger brother Matthew Ranken, who later died at Kishwaukee Community Hospital from the injuries. Black was cited for failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and operating an uninsured motor vehicle.

The alleged thefts took place after the crash, with roughly 600 pounds of coiled copper and brass stolen from the Cortland business between March 11 and Tuesday.

James Brainard, owner of American Cold-Headed Products, first reported to police on March 14 some of his metal had gone missing. After installing cameras, he was able to provide pictures of the suspect, who stole more materials later in the week.

Police officers tracked a portion of the metals to A1 Recycling Center in Aurora, where pictures and descriptions matched up with Black, according to court documents. After Black was arrested, officers also found a payout slip from United Scrap in Cicero that matched amounts taken from the Cortland business.

The Class 3 felony charges are punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

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