ShareThis Page

$1,000 meat thefts lead police to beef up search for suspect

| Friday, May 19, 2017, 3:00 p.m.
State police released a video image of a suspect in the theft of $1,000 worth of meat from Giant Eagle in Latrobe.

State police seek help identifying a man who twice last month loaded a shopping cart with steaks and beef roasts and walked out of a Giant Eagle store in Unity Township without paying.

A few days after stealing about $1,000 worth of meat on April 1 and 6, the thief — a white man in his early 20s — entered the store a third time and filled a cart with about $500 worth of meat, Trooper Stephen Limani said. A loss prevention officer stopped the man outside the store.

“The third attempt when he was stopped, he was asked to provide a receipt,” Limani said. “But he put up a fuss, claimed he had the receipt somewhere but couldn't locate it and then walked out without the cart saying he was going to shop somewhere else.”

Limani said the man appeared to wear the same clothes during each theft: a camouflage ball cap with sunglasses resting on top, a zip-up dark hoodie and blue jeans.

“The third attempt, he fled in an orange-colored pickup truck that someone else was (driving). The first two times, he parked right outside the front door after driving up in a maroon-colored Ford F-150 and parking in a fire lane,” Limani said.

The man entered the store, selected “high-end meats” and wheeled the cart out of the store, Limani said. He suspects the man may live in the Derry, Unity or Latrobe areas because of the number of thefts at the same location.

Several other high-priced food thefts have been reported in recent months.

Police last month charged Shawn M. Prince, 20, of Connellsville with retail theft after he allegedly loaded eight hams valued at nearly $450 into a cart at the Shop 'n Save on Route 119 in Youngwood on March 27 and left without paying. He was identified through surveillance tapes released by state police.

Police also released surveillance tapes to help identify a woman who was stealing shrimp and bacon from the same store.

“I have a hard time believing it's for personal consumption,” Limani said. “Whether they may sell it to a restaurant or a friend. ... We may find it could be thefts to obtain money to buy drugs.”

Anyone with information on the Unity thefts is asked to call state police at 724-832-3288.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.