On track to jail for alleged rail theft

Responding to a report of cable theft, West Whiteland officers took two alleged thieves into custody and are looking for a third, police said today.

Police  responded to the Whitford Train Station in Exton on Monday. Upon arriival, officers apprehended David Blanch, 47, of Havertown, and his son, David J. Blanch, 25, of Ardmore. Police said the men were cutting down cable so they could sell it for the scrap value. Police said a third subject, Sean Tipping, 31, of Collingdale, fled before officers were on the scene; a warrant was issued for his arrest.

More than 100 feet of Amtrak "express cable" - used to control rail signals over a seven-mile stretch between Frazer and Coatesville - was cut down, police said. Amtrak, which has since been unable to track trains traveling through the area, was still working on restoring the system today, police said.

The three defendants  have been charged with theft, criminal mischief, and railroad-related offenses. Police said  David J. Blanch was able to post bail and was released pending a preliminary hearing on Tuesday;. David Blanch was unable to post bail and was committed to Chester County Prison. Anyone with information on Sean Tipping's whereabouts is asked to contact the West Whiteland Township Police Department at (610) 363-0200 or (610) 692-5100.