TribLIVE

| Neighborhoods

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Kittanning man charged with stealing Christmas presents in Leechburg

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

AlleKiski Valley Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, 12:06 a.m.
 

A Kittanning area man is accused of stealing Christmas toys and electronics from a Leechburg family in order to get money for heroin.

Russell Allen Lookhart, 25, of Butler Road, East Franklin, is accused of taking $316 in items from a Spang Avenue couple with whom authorities say he stayed with for three weeks before Christmas.

The couple told police they had the gifts, including a Justin Beiber doll and several necklaces, locked in a bedroom closet. Cortney Beatty said she and Ronald Johnson Jr. and their children were away for a week before Christmas and returned home to find the items were missing.

The day after Beatty called police, one of Lookhart's relatives told police that Lookhart was trying to sell a gold, heart-shaped necklace with diamonds and that he had sold a Wii game console for $40 to another relative, police said in an affidavit.

According to the affidavit, Lookhart and a relative walked into the police station on Dec. 28 to admit he had stolen items from the Spang Avenue house. He also wanted treatment for heroin addiction.

Lookhart allegedly told police that he got $17 for each of the necklaces from a pawn broker and about $65 by returning some of the toys to Wal-Mart. He said he had earlier grabbed a sales slip out of the garbage can at the residence where he stole the items.

Lookhart, who waived charges to court Wednesday, is charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal trespassing and criminal mischief for allegedly damaging the bedroom door.

In the courtroom where they awaited a possible hearing, Beatty and Johnson told police and some of Lookhart's relatives they accept police dropping the first two charges in exchange for his getting drug treatment and paying restitution for the gifts.

Beatty and Johnson are facing unrelated drug charges filed Dec. 19 by state police. Beatty is charged with drug-related conspiracy. Johnson is facing that charge as well as drug possession and sales.

Lookhart is not accused of taking drugs from their house.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or cbiedka@tribweb.com.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read AlleKiski Valley

  1. Rainy summer delays paving projects in New Kensington
  2. Winfield Community Park restroom project stalls over high contractor bids
  3. Armstrong inmate escapee charged with murdering family matriarch
  4. Captured Armstrong jail escapee Crissman’s criminal history
  5. New Kensington-Arnold committee discusses ways to combat bullying
  6. Judge lets New Kensington Ten Commandments monument stand
  7. South Butler superintendent heads home for Mohawk job
  8. Mt. St. Peter draws crowds with 34th annual Festa Italiana in New Kensington
  9. Northbound Rt. 28 ramp to 31st Street Bridge closed tonight
  10. New Kensington residents furious over road conditions
  11. Zelienople development to be inclusive of those with autism