Lewisberry Community Fire Company was already having its share of problems.

In December, its fire chief and treasurer were charged with stealing money from the company between 2007 and 2011.

Municipalities had been dropping the station as its fire-service provider, so crews no longer had a coverage area, and then the borough booted the company from its building.

Then, earlier this month, the company's president -- Dennis A. Beck, 44, of the 400 block of Ridge Road, Newberry Township -- was charged with criminal mischief after he allegedly damaged the fire station while trying to move out items.

Beck's lawyer, Nathan Wolf, said that, on Nov. 13, as a deadline to vacate the firehouse at 105 W. Front St. loomed, Beck was removing appliances from the building.

But when Lewisberry borough officials found out what Beck was doing, they called police.

"The borough council, who owned the building, didn't want the items removed," Newberry Township Police Chief John Snyder said Monday.

"I don't think there was any malicious intent to do any damage," Wolf said Monday.

The next day, Lewisberry Borough Council member Dan Soltis called police to report damage to the building.

Police said drywall had been cut and a screw pulled out, which had left a hole, and a drain pipe to the kitchen sink had been broken.

Also, a gas pipe had been cut with pliers and then pinched close to the floor, making repair difficult, court documents state.

Several electrical wires were also cut, and an electrical breaker was removed from the breaker box, documents state.

The borough first received a damage estimate of $1,300, then received a second one for $4,800. Police asked for a third estimate, because of the wide discrepancy between the two.

In the meantime, Lewisberry borough's insurance company paid to repair the damage, which it estimated at $2,680, court documents state.

Wolf, Beck's attorney, said the fire company offered to pay $1,300 after the first estimate. "Despite our offer, it didn't resolve matters from the borough's perspective," Wolf said.

Snyder said he consulted York County District Tom Kearney prior to filing charges, and Kearney believed charges were warranted.

Wolf said that, despite not having a firehouse or a coverage area, Lewisberry Community Fire Company remains active, with Beck as its president.

Background

In September, Lewisberry's borough council asked the Fairview Fire Department to provide primary fire protection in the borough.

The Lewisberry Community Fire Company was ordered to vacate the borough-owned fire station at 105 W. Front St. in November, and Fairview Fire Department moved into that building. Fairview uses the same volunteer system, involving volunteers from the old fire department, as well as new volunteers.

In December, Markwood C. Albright II, 37, of Dillsburg, and Jennifer Lou Cassada, 38, of Rio Grand, N.J. -- whom police said were romantically involved -- were charged with theft and related crimes after they allegedly stole more than $11,000 from the Lewisberry fire company.

Albright, who was the fire company's chief, and Cassada, its treasurer, stole the money between January 2007 and June 2011 by using the department's credit card to pay for utility bills and a Caribbean cruise, court documents state.

Cassada pleaded guilty April 19 to four charges and received five years' probation.

Albright has a pretrial conference Thursday in the York County Court of Common Pleas.

What's next

A preliminary hearing for Dennis A. Beck was set for May 16, but it will be rescheduled, said Beck's attorney, Nathan Wolf.