Richmond man accused of stealing copper, plumbing from Veterans Affairs fails to appear before judge

Posted Nov. 18, 2013, at 7:14 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — A Richmond man accused of stealing copper wiring and plumbing fitting from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in Maine came to the Margaret Chase Smith Federal building Monday afternoon but walked out of the building without appearing before a judge.

Derek C. Less, 26, is accused of stealing more than $1,000 worth of wiring and plumbing from the VA and selling it in July and August 2012 as scrap metal.

Information about how Less accomplished the theft and where he allegedly stole the copper and plumbing fittings has not been made public.

He was scheduled to appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Margaret Kravchuk for arraignment at 2:30 p.m. Monday, but he had left the building. Less was expected to plead not guilty to seven counts of theft of government property and be held without bail.

A federal warrant could be issued for Less’ arrest, but as of 5:30 p.m. Monday, one had not been docketed on the court’s electronic case filing system.

If convicted, Less faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000. He also could be ordered to pay restitution.

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