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Lockport man imprisoned for sheet metal theft

LOCKPORT – A Town of Lockport man who, according to his attorney, stole sheet metal in hopes of selling it to pay gambling debts, was sentenced Wednesday to one to three years in state prison.

Stephen J. Zimmerman, 25, of East High Street, will go behind bars for the sixth time in his life. “You’re doing this to yourself,” State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. told him.

Zimmerman pleaded guilty to fourth-degree grand larceny for stealing 40 sheets of stainless steel, each measuring 39 by 80 inches, on Dec. 4, 2014, from Custom Laser on Akron Road in the Town of Lockport. State Police were tipped off by the operators of a Niagara Falls scrap yard. Zimmerman will owe $129 in restitution because one of the sheets was damaged; all the others were returned.

Defense attorney George V.C. Muscato said Zimmerman stole the steel because he needed money to pay his losses “at a gambling event where he was drinking.”