Tarentum Council president to face trial on theft charges
The criminal case against Tarentum Borough's council president started because his wife turned him in to state police.
Trooper Alfonso Santucci testified on Monday that council President Timothy Kurt Rapp's wife, Robin, showed up at the state police barracks in Kittanning on Feb. 3 with photos she said showed stolen tools and other items from his long-time employer, ATI-Allegheny Ludlum.
Following the preliminary hearing on charges of theft and receiving stolen property, Harmar District Judge David J. Sosovicka ordered Rapp to stand trial.
Rapp, 56, of 204 E. Ninth Ave., Tarentum, remains on council. He entered a not guilty plea before Sosovicka on Monday.
Santucci testified Robin Rapp said her husband brought the items home in an ATI truck or inside a backpack at the end of a shift. The ATI items, found in Rapp's basement and garage, ranged from gloves valued at less than $5 to a thermometer worth more than $500, The total value was $4,562, the trooper said.
Santucci said the stolen items were returned to ATI.
Rapp worked about 38 years for the company until February. Most recently, he repaired cranes.
Defense attorney Francis C. Rapp Jr., who is Tim Rapp's cousin, questioned if all of the items in the state police report had been taken by Rapp or given to him by someone else.
He said a firefighter helmet valued at nearly $600 was given to Rapp about 10 years ago by a fired employee and argued the defendant didn't know it had been stolen.
Attorney Rapp also said it was routine and acceptable for Allegheny Ludlum employees to take tools or other items no longer being used by the company rather than scrap them.
Timothy Rapp was appointed to Tarentum Council in 2004 and elected as a First Ward councilman in 2005. He was re-elected in 2009 and 2013.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.