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Women accused of stealing from vacant Lower Burrell house

| Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, 12:56 a.m.

Lower Burrell police on Thursday charged two women for allegedly entering a vacant house and stealing items the day before.

Deborah L. Kapalka, 56, of the 1700 block of Fifth Avenue, Arnold, and Jacqueline A. Ozepy-Kuhn, 48, of the 200 block of Trailer Boulevard, Lower Burrell are accused of breaking into a house along the 600 block of Zane Avenue on Wednesday.

According to a police report, the house's owner died last February. Police said the man's daughter said no one else had permission to be there. Officers got a call telling them someone was at the house at about 6:30 p.m.

Police and detectives arrived to find Kapalka “redding up” the property. When asked why, police said she replied that “because it was a mess.”

Police said a cordless drill was seen near the garbage can and a ceiling fan was in the front yard near a Chevrolet Cobalt that Kapalka said she had driven to the house.

Police said a detective found an unlocked door and then saw Ozepy-Kuhn in a bedroom. Asked what she was doing, the woman allegedly replied that she heard the house was up for sheriff's sale.

The daughter said the house wasn't for sale. She intended to rent it.

Police said they found a suitcase near the front door. Inside were various items from the house. There was a lit candle inside the house because the house didn't have electrical service. A basement door was broken, police said.

The daughter told police the house was clean inside before the break-in. Police said they found it in disarray.

The women are charged with burglary, two counts of theft, criminal mischief — tampering with property, criminal trespass-breaking into structure and receiving stolen property.

The women were arraigned Thursday by District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec. They were released on unsecured bond pending a preliminary hearing scheduled next Tuesday.

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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