Man arrested over brass theft from historic Philly building

PHILADELPHIA – Police say a man is in custody for damaging an exterior staircase at a historically significant building in downtown Philadelphia.

Tuesday’s theft of a 6-foot section of brass railing from the Union League of Philadelphia sent brick and stone from the grand, curved staircase tumbling to the sidewalk.

Police on Thursday say they’ve arrested 50-year-old Reginald Phillips and charged him with criminal mischief, theft and related offences.

They say Phillips took the brass to a local scrap yard, but a piece of the railing has been recovered. Damage is estimated at $100,000.

No attorney information for Phillips is available in online court documents.

The group’s 151-year-old French Renaissance-style building sits a couple blocks from City Hall. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.