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West Deer woman charged with stealing $10,000 in jewelry from neighbor

| Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, 1:16 a.m.

A West Deer woman allegedly stole more than $10,000 worth of jewelry from a neighbors' home while the couple was away on vacation, according to a criminal complaint filed by township police.

As first reported by WPXI-TV, township police allege that Cheryl Lynn Albinger, 47, of Reaghard Drive stole a woman's jewelry after the couple left on Sept. 18 and before a relative arrived to house-sit for them on Sept. 20.

Police said Albinger sold the jewelry to a Treasure Hunt gold-buying store in Hampton, selling seven pieces on Sept. 21 and an eighth piece on Sept. 22. The woman identified all of the jewelry sold as belonging to her, police said.

Police allege Albinger was in contact with the woman by text messages while she and her husband were away. Police said that with those messages, Albinger placed herself at the crime scene.

In court documents, police say Albinger texted the woman before the couple left, asking for $40 for prescriptions.

The woman replied she had only $10; it was when Albinger came to get the money that the woman told Albinger she would be leaving.

The neighbors' relative house-sat for them from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27. A garage door opener and a key were left for the relative in a cooler near the front door.

While the couple was away, Albinger allegedly texted the woman on Sept. 19, saying she left a pair of sandals on their porch for her to keep if she liked them.

Albinger texted the woman again on Sept. 21, claiming a postal carrier told her their mailbox was getting full and that she put their mail inside their screen door.

Police said they determined that was a lie after speaking with the carrier, who said he did not ask Albinger to take the neighbors' mail and would never ask a resident to touch someone else's mail. The carrier said that if a box was full, he would take the mail to the door himself.

When she arrived to house-sit, the relative said, she saw Albinger in the yard with a bucket.

Albinger claimed she was there to feed acorns to deer and left.

Albinger was charged with criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property and burglary. She was released from the Allegheny County Jail on Tuesday on $10,000 monetary bail, according to court records.

Albinger is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Nov. 13 before District Judge Suzanne Blaschak.

Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or brittmeyer@tribweb.com.

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