Suspected burglar awaits extradition from Ohio
By Chuck Biedka
Published: Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, 1:46 a.m.
A burglary suspect accused of taking thousands of dollars' worth of jewelry from homes in the Alle-Kiski Valley is in an Ohio jail awaiting extradition.
Police allege Anthony C. Vila, 29, of Tampa, Fla., found places to rob while posing as a door-to-door meat salesman.
Vila drove a truck that had meat lockers as part of his cover in crimes in Harmar, Hampton and Indiana townships, as well as in several places in Alabama and Florida. Police said he worked for a while for a Montgomery, Ala., meat sales company.
Pittsburgh Chief Deputy Marshal Michael Baughman said Vila and some associates are being investigated by Pittsburgh Police for earlier burglaries in Beechview.
A federal task force arrested Vila and Stephen Hornsby, 23, of Anniston, Ala., on Nov. 26 inside an East Liverpool, Ohio, motel. A 23-year-old Pittsburgh woman with them initially was held but then released pending an investigation.
Vila and Hornsby were in the Columbiana County jail on Wednesday to answer warrants from Pennsylvania and other states.
Baughman said deputies found 40 packets of heroin, jewelry and electronics.
Deputies also learned Vila stayed for a period in a hotel along Banksville Road.
“Some of the jewelry and electronics could have been taken from houses along Potomac Avenue,” Baughman said. “Pittsburgh Police are investigating, and we encourage anyone who had jewelry taken to contact police to see if their items have been found.”
Harmar police Chief Jason Domaratz said Vila is accused of taking about $8,500 from a house along the 1900 block of Little Deer Creek Road.
“He was even shot at in Alabama,” Domaratz said.Police said Vila and a woman were ransacking a house in Escambia County, Fla., near Pensacola, in October when the homeowner came out of a bedroom and chased them.
The man fired two shots at a meat truck the two were riding in.
Police said bullet holes were found in the abandoned truck, which was left near a steak sales company in Montgomery.
Baughman said that led investigators to Banksville Road and then to East Liverpool.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
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