Two Men Charged in Lewis County for Alleged Theft, Recycling of $30,000 in Brass Parts

Two men are facing charges for allegedly stealing $30,000 in brass parts and giving them to metal recyclers for cash, according to court documents.

Matthew B. Meyer, 27, of Centralia, and Christopher A. Clements, 31, have both been charged with first-degree theft and first-degree trafficking in stolen property.

Both were sent summonses to appear in court Tuesday for their first hearings in the case. Meyer appeared and was granted $5,000 unsecured bail.

Clements did not appear for the hearing. Summonses were sent to his last known addresses in the area, but Clements is suspected to be living out of state, according to the Lewis County Prosecutor’s Office.

Superior Court Judge Andrew Toynbee issued a no-bail warrant for his arrest.

On Dec. 26, 2016, the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an attempted burglary at Cylinder Depot Inc. in the 2600 block of Commercial Boulevard in Centralia.

The person who reported the crime also told deputies that he suspected Meyer and Clements, who he said had recently been fired for stealing from the business, according to court documents.

Deputies contacted the business’s owner to further investigate the alleged thefts mentioned during the burglary investigation.

The victim reportedly told deputies he discovered the thefts in October 2016 and believed the two suspects were stealing brass cylinder valves and turning them over to a metal recycler for cash.

The victim reported 4,000 new and 1,700 used cylinders were taken, valued at $29,959.

An employee at the recycling business reportedly confirmed that the two suspects had turned in the valves and received cash.

When contacted by deputies, Meyer reportedly said he only took a small portion of the money. Clements, when contacted, reported the split was 50/50, according to court documents.