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Westmoreland County pair get deal in theft of Habitat for Humanity donation box

| Tuesday, April 9, 2013, 12:36 a.m.

A Westmoreland County pair will be allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges for allegedly stealing a charity's donation box if they complete community service and pay restitution, officials said Monday.

Amy Lynn Martino, 30, and Stephen M. Wray, 33, both of North Huntingdon, were charged in January with walking off with Allegheny Valley Habitat for Humanity's donation box in Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer.

About a day after the theft, Martino and Wray were arrested for shoplifting in the mall.

Martino and Wray were scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Monday for charges of theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy and retail theft.

However, District Judge David Sosovicka was told by a prosecutor that Allegheny Valley Habitat for Humanity would prefer to handle the matter without a trial.

After court, Frazer police and Habitat Executive Director Diane E. Belitskus separately confirmed that the charity asked for leniency.

Sosovicka delayed the case 30 days and ordered Martino and Wray to pay $330 combined restitution. Both must stay away from the mall, and both must perform 40 hours of community service at a charity in North Huntingdon within a month.

If the two complete those requirements, they will be allowed to plead guilty to lesser charges of disorderly conduct and retail theft, Sosovicka said.

If they don't, the pair will face the original charges in Allegheny County Court.

Both suspects said they agreed to the offer and understood what they have been ordered to do.

They remain out of jail on $5,000 bond each.

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

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