Springdale man accused of being the 'fake beard' Walmart thief
Police say a Springdale man wore a disguise when he allegedly stole more than $30,000 worth of merchandise from Wal-Mart stores in Westmoreland, Armstrong and Fayette counties because he was afraid he could be identified by his tattoos.
Police in Cranberry, Butler County, charged Scott Reed, 42, in connection with the theft of 11 Apple iPads worth about $5,700 from the Wal-Mart store in that township on Aug. 16.
Reed is suspected of being responsible for stealing merchandise from there and three other Wal-Mart stores since Aug. 1, according to an affidavit filed in the Cranberry case. The stores were targeted in the late night through early morning hours.
Police in other jurisdictions had not filed charges against Reed as of late Friday, according to online court records.
Reed was identified by Frances A. Radeshak, 33, of New Kensington, who police say conspired with Reed in at least three other retail thefts. Cranberry police did not charge Radeshak in the Aug. 16 incident.
New Kensington police arrested Radeshak on drug paraphernalia charges during a traffic stop on Freeport Road on Aug. 29 after a tipster said he recognized her from a newscast showing security footage of a woman and man stealing merchandise from Wal-Mart stores in the region.
The same man, wearing nearly identical clothing, was seen in surveillance video from Wal-Mart stores in each of the three counties.
Radeshak also identified Reed's vehicle, a 1995 Mitsubishi Galant sedan, which had been seen leaving the Cranberry store.
Reed was driving the car when Cranberry detectives went to interview him on Wednesday, Cranberry police Sgt. Chuck Mascellino said. When Reed was arrested, he was wearing clothing similar to that seen in the store surveillance video.
Police said Reed has 16 prior arrests and 14 convictions for retail theft.
Radeshak said Reed wore a disguise during the thefts because he is heavily tattooed on his face, head and neck “and was concerned he would be easily recognized by law enforcement,” according to court documents.
According to court documents, a man later identified as Reed entered the Cranberry Wal-Mart around 2:54 a.m. on Aug. 16 and went to the electronics section. Between 3 and 3:20 a.m., he broke the lock on a display case and periodically removed iPads, which he hid in his clothes, pants pockets and a bag he took from within the store.
A man who identified Reed and Radeshak from the publicized surveillance images said he had bought several of the stolen iPads from Reed.
Reed was arraigned on charges of retail theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief by Cranberry Judge David T. Kovach on Wednesday. He was put in the Butler County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 20 before Kovach.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 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.
- Harrison woman dead in 3-car crash in Natrona Heights
- Armstrong County to try Welshman on indecent assault, related charges
- Stretch of Freeport Road rezoned
- Kiski Area sells school building
- Allegheny Valley board reduces transfer to $1.5M
- New Kensington officials eager to demolish 3 fire-ravaged buildings