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Metal thief goes to jail for probation violation

LOCKPORT – A man who took part in an attempt to steal metal from a vacant commercial building in Niagara Falls was sentenced to six months in the Niagara County Jail Friday by County Judge Sara Sheldon.

Gerald Welker Jr., 29, of 21st Street, Niagara Falls, had violated the terms of his probation on his guilty plea last year to second-degree criminal trespass. The theft at the Highland Technology Park on Aug. 31, 2013 was foiled by police who caught Welker and Nicholas McConnaughey, 43, in the act. McConnaughey, a former Falls resident who was living in the City of Tonawanda before his sentencing in December, is serving two to six years in state prison.