Suspect arrested in theft, damage to Union League staircase

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

CENTER CITY (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police have arrested a suspect wanted for the theft of a brass railing from the front entry staircase of the Union League building in Center City.

Police announced 50-year-old Reginald Phillips was taken into custody just before 11 p.m. Wednesday.

Authorities say Phillips was involved in the removal and theft of a brass railing from the Union League early Monday morning.

Union League officials tell Action News the suspect pulled the brass railing off the front stairs of the building, located in the 100 block of South Broad Street, causing the rest of the stairway to come crumbling down.

Police developed Phillips as a suspect after obtaining surveillance video.

The video, compiled from several surveillance cameras, shows the suspect taking a piece of the brass railing, then carrying down toward Moravian Street to another location.

One of the cameras picks up the man as he wrapped up the railing and tied it to a car in an alley. It appears he's being helped by another man.

Later, police say Phillips scrapped the railing at a local scrap yard. A piece of the railing was recovered, and damage is estimated at $100,000.

The Union League is working to get the staircase fixed as quickly as possible.