2 charged with stealing money from Pittsburgh Mills wishing well destined for charity
A North Huntingdon man and woman arrested for shoplifting at the Pittsburgh Mills mall on Thursday evening were wearing the same outer clothing they wore when carting off Allegheny Valley Habitat for Humanity's wishing well cash from the mall on Saturday, according to Frazer police.
Amy Lynn Martino, 30, of 131 Edwin Drive and Stephen M. Wray, 33, of 2029 Tara Drive were charged with theft and related charges. They were arrested just before 7 p.m. in Sears, where they allegedly were shoplifting, Frazer police Chief Carl Toscolani said.
A donation box is built into the wishing well, which is on permanent display at an indoor playground in the mall. It's sponsored by Habitat and the Valley News Dispatch‘s parent company, Trib Total Media.
The well, valued at several thousand dollars, was damaged.Police had a clothing description: the woman wore a blue coat and hat, both with white stripes, and the man had on a dark coat with brown pants.
“One of our investigating officers concluded that they had to take the box out through Sears,” Toscolani said.
“So we made arrangements to look at their surveillance tapes.
“Officers were looking at the tapes when someone looked up at the ‘live' camera,” the chief said. “There they were — in the same clothes.”
Police said Martino and Wray admitted taking the wishing well on Saturday and cashing in the change it held.
Police said they also were caught trying to take items from Sears on Thursday and will face charges for that, too.
The organization routinely collected about $100 a week before the holidays, but the collection then jumps up significantly, said Habitat Executive Director Diane Belitskus.
“People of this area are so incredibly generous,” she said, thrilled that the case may have been solved.
She hopes to get the money and box back.
“We're trying to help people in need,” said the Rev. W. James Legge, a pastor and Allegheny Valley Habitat's board president. “This sets us back.”
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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.
- PennDOT, Pa. Game Commission give falcons new nest in Tarentum
- Oakmont hit-run probed
- Record-breaking temps could make February the coldest one since 1979
- 3 charged with selling heroin that killed Lower Burrell woman
- Apollo targets owners who fail to maintain vacant properties
- Student suicide brings issue of bullying to fore in New Kensington-Arnold
- Apollo to improve safety
- Stray bald eagle does flyby at Hays nest
- Drivers survive head-on crash on Route 356 in Allegheny Township
- Highlands basketball manager finally gets his shot ... and makes it!
- Springdale Township seeks $160K grant for sewerage repairs