By Renatta Signorini
You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, email@example.com or via Twitter .
A Youngwood man was charged Thursday after state police said he took $50,000 worth of guns, tools, coins and military collectibles from two abandoned houses, according to court papers.
George Raymond Weightman III, 43, told investigators he broke into the houses in Adamsburg and Hempfield to fund a drug addiction. He was jailed without bail on numerous counts of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief and weapons violations.
He was being held at the Westmoreland County Prison.
State police arrested him Monday on two counts of receiving stolen property in connection with two guns reported stolen from the Adamsburg home.
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — A man accused of breaking into homes in two Allegheny County communities has been arrested.
Police had been searching for Elwood Bartrug, 62, who was arraigned and booked into jail early Friday morning.
Police said he would ring home doorbells in Reserve Township and would break in if no one came to the door. However, if someone answered, he’d ask for directions.
At one point during the search for Bartrug, Millvale police tracked him to a home, but he took off running and jumped out of a third-story window to get away.
According to a criminal complaint outlining two of the Millvale break-ins, Bartrug is charged with burglary, criminal trespass and theft by unlawful taking. Those two burglaries happened on Stanton Avenue on Sept. 13.
In one of them, an air conditioning unit was removed from a side window, but nothing was taken from the home, the complaint said. Surveillance video showed Bartrug inside the home, then running to and unlocking the front door to get out when an alarm went off.
In the other break-in, the homeowner returned home to find it had been ransacked. The glass window on the basement door was broken, and a video game console, controllers and video games were missing, the complaint said. The stolen items were later found at an electronics store on Grant Avenue in Millvale, where they had been traded in.
JOHNSTOWN, Pa. — A Pittsburgh man was arrested and charged in Johnstown after police said he tried to rob a woman late Saturday night and then ran over her with a pickup truck.
Police said 25-year-old Denzelle Kendrick was charged with aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and robbery among other charges.
According to investigators, officers were called to an address in Johnstown around 10 p.m. Saturday for a report of a stabbing. When they arrived, they found a woman who had actually been beaten and run over by a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Kendrick was identified as the driver. He was seen on surveillance camera reportedly trying to steal the woman’s purse during the encounter.
Officers said Kendrick took off and was eventually pursued by state police troopers into Somerset County. Court documents said troopers were able to stop him using the “box” method, where law enforcement vehicles surround a suspect vehicle and all slow down. This causes the suspect vehicle to also slow as a result.
Troopers said speeds reached more than 105 mph before they were able to stop Kendrick.
He appeared before a judge Sunday morning.
WEXFORD, Pa — One local police chief told Channel 11 that a recent crime spree in his community could be one for the history books.
Northern Regional Police Chief John Sicilia said the stolen cars are worth nearly $500,000.
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One Bentley, For F250 Platinum Truck, Two Mercedes Benz and Two BMWs were stolen from the Bentley Pittsburgh dealership along route 19 early Thursday morning. Chief Sicilia says the crime started across the street at the enterprise in Warrendale, where the same group stole several license plates from rental cars to use on the Bentleys.
The chief says thieves then broke into the Bentleys by manipulating the key lock box on each car.
“We did enter the license plates and the vehicles into NCIC so any police officer around the country who would run that plate or VIN it would come back stolen.”
It now appears the thieves left the state and the cars are long gone. So far police have been able to locate one Bentley which was found abandoned in Summerville, West Virginia.
“We are working to process that vehicle for any kind of evidence we’ve been working with the PA state police auto theft task force but at this time we don’t have any suspects.”
EBENSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — Approximately $8,143 worth of items were stolen from a home along the 500 block of 3rd Avenue in Elder Township, according to state police.
Sometime between Aug. 20 at 3 p.m. to Aug. 23 at 10:30 a.m., the following items were stolen by an unknown suspect(s):
- 50″ ED HDTV – $400
- Samsung Galaxy Tablet, 8″ screen – $158
- DVD player – $40
- Weber Spirit stainless steel gas grill – $635
- Space Saver Sofa, cocoa – $1,125
- Desk and desk chair – $133
- 60″ espresso electric fireplace – $423
- Phillips 22″ LED TV – $189
- Nintendo Wii – $160
- Husqvarna 21HP Kohler 46″ Hydro-Static riding mower – $1,700
- Cub Cadet 42″ riding mower – $1,590
- Another Cub Cadet 42″ riding mower – $1,590
Anyone with information should contact state police at Ebensburg.
Two bank robberies are under investigation in the Pittsburgh area on Thursday afternoon.
One happened at the PNC Bank on Washington Road in South Strabane Township, Washington County.
The second robbery happened at the Brentwood Bank in South Fayette.
South Fayette police said one person of interest was taken into custody during a traffic stop near the McKees Rocks area, about 20 miles from the Brentwood Bank.
Police said a second person of interest has been identified but has not yet been arrested.
Police are not releasing their identities at this time.
South Fayette police said no money was taken at the PNC Bank, however, money was taken from the Brentwood Brank.
An FBI spokesperson said no injuries were reported.
This is a developing story. Stay with Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 for updates. Download the WTAE mobile app to stay connected with breaking news.
One burglary was caught on camera
MILLVALE, Pa. —
Millvale police said they’re looking for a man who broke into multiple homes in that community.
According to police, surveillance video caught Elwood Bartrug breaking into one person’s home and running off when an alarm went off.Police said there is a reward for anyone who gives police information leading to Bartrug’s arrest.
PITTSBURGH — Residents in Avalon Borough woke up Wednesday morning to find their cars broken into and items missing.
Many of the vehicles parked along Florence Avenue and Cleveland Avenue were locked, and residents want to know how someone was able to gain access to them.
Not only were several locked cars broken into, but some break-ins were captured on a neighbor’s surveillance camera.
David Shane is one of the victims
.“When this happened, I was furious trying to figure out how I’m going to bait them and catch them. Of course, (I) contacted law enforcement.
”His brother-in-law’s car was also targeted. “They actually broke into his car as well. Stole a pair of AirPods and some money,” Shane said.
The break-in happened early Tuesday morning, and Shane knew something was wrong right away.
When Shane walked outside, all of his windows were rolled down, his sunroof was open, and the big question is how that happened to begin with. He also knew something was wrong when he saw show boxes from his car scattered through the street; it was no surprise that they were empty.
“The glove box was open. The center console was up. Some things thrown around,” Shane explained.
Shane says his shoes, clothes and even money were stolen.
“It’s probably a lesson I learned, like most people a long time ago, not to leave belongings in your vehicle or things of worth, but I wasn’t anticipating having it being taken,” he said.
It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Shane is visiting from Florida, but is looking for a job right now because he wants to move to Pittsburgh.
“If you are a business owner, you need anything marketing, someone to grow your brand — I’m your guy.”
In the meantime — Shane is trying to be positive.
“Could’ve been much worse, and at the end of the day, I hope someone gets to enjoy the shoes.”
By John Zebrowski OPINION
Retailers, malls and supermarkets across New Jersey are seeing dramatic surges in shoplifting over the past 18 months. It’s believed to be fallout from the pandemic-related economic downturn that has caused workplace cutbacks and joblessness.
This is a separate type of crime from highly-publicized organized retail theft rings. More people are resorting to shoplifting as a way to make ends meet. That’s no excuse; just a sad reality. It also ties up valuable law enforcement resources. Significant time and taxpayer money is expended to track down, arrest and prosecute shoplifting offenders.
It’s time for New Jersey to take the lead in the United States, and create a progressive statewide diversion program for people charged with disorderly person-level shoplifting offenses. Working with the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, retailers and law enforcement, we can develop alternative procedures to get many shoplifters the help they urgently need.Most law-abiding people see shoplifting as a penny-ante crime. Yet shoplifting has subtle, expensive repercussions most people never fully realize, affecting the retail price of goods. Nationwide, shoplifting accounts for $14.7 billion annually in stolen merchandise. That raises consumers’ costs as retailers — big and small — raise prices to recoup losses.Retailers put a great deal of resources into dealing with theft. They install security cameras, affix anti-theft tags to merchandise, and hire guards to protect stores. Signs warn that shoplifters will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. And yet another type of theft in the retail sector receives far less attention, even though it is equally, if not more pervasive in our economy: employers stealing pay they legally owe to their workforce by paying less than minimum wage to employees.Stores in New Jersey – from big-box retailers to corner bodegas — typically hand over shoplifting suspects to local police. Processing and prosecuting these arrests — often booked as disorderly persons offenses — is time-consuming and derail officers from focusing on crime prevention. Penalties in New Jersey for stealing less than $200 worth of food or merchandise are fines that range up to $1,000, possibly six months in jail and short stints of community service. For a person who is barely holding on and steals cans of tuna or pairs of socks in winter, such punishment seems excessive. It can add to their desperation and cause them to shoplift again.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff
FAYETTE COUNTY (KDKA) — Police are searching for the person who robbed a First National Bank in Chalk Hill.
It happened Monday morning at the branch on Route 40.
State Police have released a photo from inside the bank.
The robber was apparently wearing a motorcycle helmet and had something in their hand.
Police said several cars were broken into in a Bethel Park neighborhood. One car was stolen. Police are trying to track down who is responsible.
Kathy Petchel said her Bethel Park community has shown her support after her Volkswagon was stolen on Pine Ridge Drive. Police said someone broke into several cars, between midnight and 1:30 a.m. on Friday morning. The thefts happened in the area of Thornwood Drive, Maplevue Drive and Forest Road. Police said similar break-ins happened about nine months ago.
They the car that was stolen was a 2012 silver Volkswagon Tiguan with the Pennsylvania license plate GBH-9972.
Petchel says even in her quiet neighborhood, people should lock their doors and stay alert.
Police are investigating.
A Pittsburgh man pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges related to a string of armed robberies that police and the FBI said he carried out with three accomplices across the city and the eastern suburbs in 2018 and 2019.
True Kinnon, 22, pleaded to conspiracy to commit robbery, robbery and brandishing a gun during a violent crime.
Kinnon admitted that he and his cohorts committed seven armed robberies in Allegheny County from November 2018 through February 2019. The group hit convenience stores in Pittsburgh, Penn Hills, Turtle Creek, Oakmont and Monroeville. During some of the heists, Kinnon and the others brandished guns, including an assault-style rifle and a revolver, and threatened employees and customers with the weapons while stealing money and property.
Kinnon and the others were all indicted federally under the Hobbs Act, which prohibits robbery or extortion affecting interstate commerce.
Prosecutors said Kinnon and Jaron Davis, of Penn Hills, robbed a customer at the Home Goods store on Mall Boulevard in Monroeville while attempting to rob the store on Dec. 17, 2018. The next day, Kinnon and Davis robbed a CoGo’s on East Carson Street. On Jan. 30, 2019, Kinnon robbed a CoGo’s on Brownsville Road, prosecutors said, along with Rudolph McBride, of Penn Hills, and Wayne Edwards, of Monroeville.
Kinnon will be sentenced in November.
PENN HILLS, Pa. — Neighbors in Penn Hills are on edge after a series of thefts from vehicles recently.
One recent incident occurred Friday morning on Cedarwood Drive, while other incidents also occurred on Pecan Drive.
Residents provided video which shows two men rummaging around inside parked vehicles.
“The one thing I would say to the two young men, and they look awfully young in the video, is that this should not be where your story begins. Please turn it around. Make last night the last night you so something like that. Because this shouldn’t be your story,” neighbor Mary Smider said.
A woman was arrested for multiple burglaries in Bethel Park, and police are crediting a neighbor’s security camera.
CHARLEROI, Pa. (KDKA) – Charleroi and Donora are on high alert after a rash of car break-ins and thefts.
The Charleroi Regional Police chief said it appears there are three people working together. They broke into dozens of cars in Charleroi and Donora in a matter of three hours and got away with two guns.
In surveillance video, you can see a thief trying to get into Pamela Jericho’s parked car on Woodland Avenue in Charleroi.
“That’s a little scary,” said Jericho.
Jericho’s camera caught what Charleroi Regional Police are calling a three-man operation.
PITTSBURGH — Streets in downtown Pittsburgh reopened Wednesday afternoon after a bank robbery investigation.
A suspect walked into the PNC Bank on Fifth Avenue around noon with a note, and left the building.
When officers arrived, they found the suspect outside, at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and Washington Place with a backpack.
The suspect was taken into custody.
Officers evacuated the bank and surrounding buildings as a precaution.
The Pittsburgh Police Bomb Squad, and K-9 were called in and conducted a sweep of the area.
***BREAKING*** Police sources say one person is in custody after an incident at a PNC Bank on Fifth Avenue. Bomb squad on scene sifting through suspicious bag and sweeping the area right now. Street Closed between Washington Place and Centre to Fifth Avenue and center. #wpxi pic.twitter.com/hjo6h2oTnw— Joe Arena (@WPXIJoe) May 26, 2021
It was determined that there was no threat inside the backpack or in the area.
The surrounding streets were opened soon after.
The suspect’s name hasn’t been released.
Among the many problems plaguing San Francisco in recent years, business leaders say one has become so commonplace that residents barely notice it: shoplifting.
Walgreens says petty theft in the city has gotten so out of control that it’s had to close 17 of its stores. CVS has told its employees not to intervene because the thieves so often attack them, calling San Francisco “one of the epicenters of organized retail crime.”
“We’ve had incidents where our security officers are assaulted on a pretty regular basis in San Francisco,” Brendan Dugan, head of CVS’ retail crime division, said at a 13 May hearing with city officials, according to a New York Times report.
Police agree that the stealing has become endemic.“
The one trend we are seeing is more violence and escalating – and much more bold,” Commander Raj Vaswani of the San Francisco Police Department said at the hearing. “We see a lot of repeat offenders.”
CLAIRTON, Pa. — A Clairton family is searching for answers after their step-father was trying to deliver pizza Saturday night.
Steve Lynn, 64, is in the hospital after being beaten. His step-son Keith says he was helping out and was taking a while to get back to the pizza shop. So they tried to call him and eventually they got a call back from first responders saying there was a crime scene on North Third in Clairton.
Keith rushed over, and after seeing his dad, he’s convinced this wasn’t just a robbery.
A San Diego station reported the C-4 disappeared during a long training exercise two weeks earlier and may have been stolen
The explosives, identified as C-4, were being stored at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms in San Bernardino County, east of Los Angeles, KGTV-TV of San Diego first reported, citing a source with knowledge of the situation.
“Out of respect for the investigative process, NCIS does not comment on or confirm details relating to ongoing investigations,” Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) spokesman Jeff Houston told Fox News in an email early Friday.
The C-4 disappeared during a long training exercise two weeks earlier and may have been stolen. A reward was being offered for its safe return, the San Diego station reported.
C-4 is a high-powered explosive and one-tenth of the amount stolen could blow up a car, a former bomb technician told KGTV.
By: KDKA-TV News Staff
SHADE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Police are investigating after more than $20,000 worth of equipment was stolen from storage sheds in Somerset County.
The Pennsylvania State Police say a backhoe, two ATVs and a generator were among the things stolen from the sheds on Coffee Hill Road in Shade Township.
The burglary happened in November, police say. No word on any suspects.
ROCHESTER (KDKA) — Police in Rochester Borough are investigating a robbery that took place at a Subway restaurant.Police say that they were dispatched to Adams Street around 5 p.m. on Monday for a robbery that had just occurred.
Video footage from the restaurant showed a suspect who appeared to be a white male wearing a black hooded sweatshirt.An employee from the restaurant appeared to fight back with the suspect.
The Rochester Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect.
Anyone with information is pleased asked to contact the Rochester Borough Police Department at 724-775-1100.
It happened recently at Osteria Pasqualino in Murrysville.
Police said they’re still trying to identify the thief and that the owners of the restaurant covered the lost tips for their staff.
A Derry Borough man was hospitalized after police said he was hit in the head with a tire iron during a robbery at his home Friday.
The man told borough police that five people broke into his Hays Street home around 7 p.m. but the only one he could identify was Robert E. Coffren, 29, of Derry.
Coffren is charged with robbery, aggravated assault, theft, burglary, receiving stolen property and related offenses. He was jailed Saturday on $100,000 bail.
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh police are investigating two separate robberies that happened at businesses early Friday.
According to investigators, the first incident was around 2 a.m. in North Oakland. Police said a man entered a store in the 100 block of North Craig Street, went behind the counter and smashed the register — stealing less than $100.
About three hours later in Banksville, police said a man went behind the counter at a store in the 2900 block of Banksville Road, grabbed a pair of scissors and demanded the store clerk give him money from the registers.
That man stole an “undetermined amount” of cash before running out of the store, police said.No one was hurt, and there is also surveillance footage being reviewed during the investigation.
These incidents are not related, and no information was released about possible suspects in each case.
A Westmoreland County carpet installer is charged with stealing a Rostraver customer’s coin collection valued at more than $1,000 while working in her home last month.
Curtis Burkholder, 51, of Hempfield, is charged with theft and receiving stolen property by township police in connection with the theft that allegedly occurred when he was installing carpeting in a residence on the 1100 block of Willowbrook Drive on Oct. 2.
The female victim told Rostraver police Sgt. Kerry August that she had been saving spare coins for years in two “large animal cracker containers” stored in her walk-in closet. She told August the containers held more than $1,000 in coins.
She noticed both containers were empty after the carpet was replaced and repeatedly telephoned Burkholder. She said Burkholder did not return her telephone calls.
The victim then telephoned a co-worker of Burkholder’s who admitted seeing him with a large amount of coins at his residence shortly after completing the work. August reported that the co-worker said he would have Burkholder return the currency.
According to August, a short time after making the complaint, the victim received $20 in coins in a small plastic bag.
August reported in court documents that Burkholder has not responded to repeated telephone inquiries about the theft.
According to court dockets, in 2008 a complaint of theft by unlawful taking filed by Greensburg police was dismissed against Burkholder after an agreement was reached that he would pay $1,600 restitution. Court records indicate that Burkholder made only one $200 payment and still owes $1,400 that is more than 11 years overdue.
MILLVALE, Pa. (KDKA) — Police in Millvale are investigating after a beloved hobby store was robbed twice last week.
Esther’s Hobby Shop has stood proudly on North Avenue in Millvale for over 80 years. Bob Mehler’s mother opened Esther’s Hobby Shop as a variety store.“She opened this store in 1937,” the 90-year-old man said. “I was 7 years old.”
Model trains now line every inch of the store’s walls and fill its cabinets. But after two robberies in as many days, the shelves and cabinets have glaring empty spaces. Police say the suspect robbed the store on Nov. 3 and Nov.4.
“He kept moving boxes closer to the door,” said Mehler of the suspect.
Between both robberies, the suspect got away with around $5,000 worth of merchandise.
Mehler says he was by himself during the first robbery, and the store’s layout can make it difficult to keep track of everyone inside.
“When I would disappear, either go back at my desk or somewhere else, he’d run out to his car and come back,” Mehler said.
When the man allegedly came back the next day, Mehler says an employee was working the counter and didn’t immediately recognize the suspect.
Though Millvale police believe the suspect is not from Pennsylvania, he is also wanted in a robbery in Heidelberg.
While the robberies are a financial burden and have caused some heartbreak, Mehler says he won’t be walking away from his lifelong passion anytime soon.
“I’m too trustworthy of human beings, but I still enjoy the business,” he said.
The suspect drove a gray truck and was armed with a gun, which he fired during at least two of the incidents.
The suspect has mostly taken cellphones, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
The neighborhoods where the robberies occurred include Mar Vista, West Adams, Picfair Village, Westchester, Mid-Wilshire, Carthay Circle, Beverly Grove, Fairfax, Crestview, Faircrest Heights, and Palms, police said.
Police warned residents in the area to consider the following: • Always be alert to your surroundings and the people around you; • Try to stay in well-lit areas; • Don’t walk alone at night and always avoid areas where there are few people; • Be careful when people stop you for directions, always reply from a distance, and never get too close to the car; • If you feel you’re being followed, walk to a well-populated area; • Don’t resist. Give up your property, don’t give up your life; • Report the crime to the police, try to describe the attacker accurately.
A detailed description of the suspect was not disclosed.
A stolen calligraphy scroll said to be worth millions has been found in Hong Kong, after it was cut in half.
Thieves had stolen the scroll by Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong from an art collector’s home in a burglary last month.
They then sold it at a fraction of its value. It was apparently cut up as the 2.8m-long (9ft) scroll was deemed too long to display, said Hong Kong police.
The original owner says the artwork’s value has been “definitely affected”.
The scroll contains stanzas of poetry handwritten by the founder of the People’s Republic of China. Its owner has claimed it is estimated to be worth around $300m (£230m), though it is not known how the valuation was obtained.