A man and woman suspected of stealing tons of steel from a local construction company each were charged this week with three felonies.
Bradley Rood, 33, and Jennifer Belfiore, 37, have yet to be arraigned on charges of trafficking in stolen property, first-degree theft and malicious mischief.
Pierce County prosecutors contend in court documents that Rood and Belfiore took numerous trailer loads of steel brackets belonging to Scarcella Brothers Inc. from a storage lot in Northeast Tacoma.
They were arrested there in September 2011 after a truck driver spotted them and another man in the yard, court records show.
Rood, who once worked for Scarcella, told police he had permission from company officials to take the metal, but Scarcella officials told investigators that was not true, the records show.
Rood later admitted taking steel without permission.
Rood said he was in desperate need of money because he had children he was supporting, deputy prosecutor Lisa Wagner wrote in charging documents.
Receipts from a local metal-recycling business show Rood was paid more than $8,000 for 54,800 pounds of steel in 2011, court records show.
Rood and Belfiore allegedly used a Scarcella forklift to put the steel on a rented trailer for transport to the recycler.