At a press conference Monday afternoon, the Niagara County Sheriff's Office and the Town of Niagara Police Department announced the arrest of two people in connection to a July 20 house explosion at 3225 Military Road. Crystal D. Knepp of the Town of Lockport and Eric S. Waterstram of Niagara Falls were arrested on charges of burglary in the second degree, criminal mischief in the second degree, and petit larceny.
The arrests follow a lengthy and extensive investigation by the NCSO Criminal Investigation Bureau and the Niagara County Fire Investigations Unit. The search revealed copper piping was taken from the unoccupied Town of Niagara home, resulting in the release of natural gas and a subsequent explosion. No one was injured, but more than $100,000 in damages was reported.
The NCSO called the incident the latest in an ongoing "scrapping" epidemic, wherein metal is stripped and taken to scrap yards for cash.
Knepp was arraigned in front of Town of Niagara Judge John Teixeira. Bail was set at $10,000 cash or $20,000 property. She was remanded to Niagara County Jail.
Bail for Waterstram was set at $25,000.