Suspected Copper Pipe Thief Behind Bars

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KIDDER TOWNSHIP -- Police believe they have the person responsible for stealing copper pipes from several properties in Carbon County.

Erick Rivera, 22, of Lake Harmony is in custody. Police say he stole copper pipe from at least nine homes in private communities Carbon County over the past six months.

Police say Rivera would enter the crawl spaces of homes in Laurel Woods development and Ridgewood Country Estates and remove copper water pipes by cutting them with pruning shears. They say Rivera then sold the copper to a scrap yard in exchange for cash.

Property managers say most of the condos in Ridgewood Country Estates are used as vacation homes and are empty for most of the year. However some residents, including Jean Kline, live there all year.

"I was shocked, because you know nothing ever happens. Lake Harmony is a quiet little town. We never have incidents like this."

Since Kline heard about the burglary, she says she is being a little more cautious. She even put a lock on her crawl space.

"I've been in this house since 2000. I never had anything like that happen. I never had to lock up my crawl space. So I am really surprised."

Others in the community are also shocked and disheartened by the break-ins.

"I think it's really sad and really scary. You know, it's a safe place and I like to think things like that couldn't happen here, but it could and it's just scary," said Tricia Suveg.

Rivera's charges include nine counts of burglary and criminal trespass. His bail was set at $90,000.

According to court papers, police began to suspect Rivera earlier this month when they noticed his vehicle parked by the Laurel Woods Development in Lake Harmony. They then got receipts from a recycling business in Stroudsburg showing that Rivera had been there several times to turn in copper pipe.


    • tHATgirl

      You’re all crazy. I know him to the fullest, and he isn’t a heroin addict, or an addict to anything for that matter. You people obviously watch too much television and are trying to connect the dots in you’re own little world, which is sad. He is an such an amazing person, and a very loving and doting father, he made a mistake, and he has learned from this.

  • RJ

    typo correction to my post: but he has “now” had a taste of jail and hopefully will learn from this. we can only hope!

  • RJ

    i don’t think “throwing the book” at him in this case is necessary, it is crucial that he get some help. i’m sure the courts will see fit what he’ll need to do. mind you, i’m not justifying his actions but things are done without thought of the consequences. this is clearly where he needs help. maybe this will scare him enough. maybe not. but that’s when the court can throw the book at him. repeat offenders, not a first offense throw the book at him. there are far worse out there and this is not one of them. hopefully he never will be. he’s not a heroin addict, clearly you can see how healthy he looks. “don’t judge lest ye be judged.” he is wrong, admitted he did this and needs help. this should shake him and his family enough to get him the help he needs. he won’t “get off” with a slap on the wrist, he will need to make restitution, parole/probation and i’m sure community service and fines on top of all that and etc. but he has not had a taste of jail and hopefully will learn from this. we can only hope!

    • B

      I personally know him and he was a major herion addict him and his girlfriend. He needed to go to rehab for it. Not sure if he is still doing it.

      • RJ

        To “B”, the correct term then in your comment should be “was”…clearly he’s not now, he is extremely healthy looking…i’m not the only one to say that but i know him, his GF and his family and neither one are doing that stuff…maybe a few years ago but now now and haven’t in years…i remember how skinny, pale/gray and gaunt he looked back in the day…not the case now at all…he is lazy and wanted easy money rather than look for a job…now he’ll have no choice after all this, because he’ll have fines to pay out the wazoo! again, hoping he learns from all this…only time will tell

  • Nina

    Well if he is a heroin addict, he sure looks like a picture of a perfectly healthy kid to me. Hey “A” you are seriously misinformed. I’ve known this kid all of my life and know he truly is not a bad person and a loving father. He would NEVER hurt anyone!!!

  • Dirt Dogg

    Yeah, and like the scrap yard didn’t think it suspicious the same kid kept showing up with the same type of copper pipe time after time.

  • WildBill

    Make an example out of him.Throw the book at him. Give him the maximum allowable penalties.Don’t offer any plea bargains.No early parole for good behavior.

    • Nina

      Make an example out of him???? Seriously???? I think you should make an example out of rapists and child molesters and murderers who have done far worse than what this kid did!!

  • Penn Kidder Property Management

    We here at Ridgewood Country Estates and Penn Kidder Property Management would like to extend our sincere thanks to Chief Kuzma and the Kidder Township police department for their continued dedication in solving this crime. Our dedicated officers here rarely get the recognition that they deserve, and we just want to say “thanks” and Great job!

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