City worker arrested for stealing aluminum

Daily Planet wire report
Monday March 05, 2001

The Berkeley Police Department reports that a city employee was arrested for six misdemeanor theft counts on Friday for allegedly stealing recycled aluminum he planned to sell to salvage yards. 

Police say 46-year-old Melvin Ponder worked for the City of Berkeley's Solid Waste Transfer Station at Second and Harrison streets. Ponder allegedly carried recycled materials out a back door to his car, so he could transport the materials to his house. 

Police conducted a search of Ponder's house and found his carport was stacked from floor to ceiling with stolen materials such as aluminum, copper, lead and brass. Ponder is said to have rented a storage truck so he could transport the materials and sell them for a profit to salvage yards. 

Police say it took the director of Berkeley's Public Works Department and nearly 10 employees to reclaim the goods.