INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) - An Indianapolis man faces a federal charge for ripping up and stealing rail from a CSX line on the city's east side.
Sixty-four-year-old Donald Haas has been charged with removing about 2 miles of rail weighing more than 184 tons.
Rail experts estimate the value of the rail to be around $60 thousand.
Indianapolis Metropolitan police officers say the theft took place over a period of months last year.
According to a police report, Haas used a Bobcat front loader to lift the heavy rail. On July 9, an anonymous caller tipped off police.
Haas was questioned by two IMPD officers. When asked if he had permission to remove the rail, the officers said Haas showed them a letter of permission that was printed out on CSX letterhead. Police said the document was a fake after further investigation.
Haas is scheduled to appear in Federal Court May 13.
CSX has its own security department. The company declined to comment since the case in pending in Federal Court.
Rail experts say it is not unusual to hear about thefts.
"I think it's become more common with the economy. People are looking for a way to make a buck in some cases," said Eric Powel with the Indiana Rail Road Company. "Smaller pieces, it is not uncommon for things to disappear from time to time, but whole rails being taken away. It's a big deal."
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