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Parks woman accused of burglarizing house

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Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, 12:26 a.m.

A woman already awaiting trial for a cemetery theft conspiracy in Lower Burrell is accused of taking about $3,100 worth of items from a house in Parks Township.

Brandi Jo Verner, 28, of Lincoln Street, in the North Vandergrift section of Parks, waived the latest theft and other charges to court Wednesday.

She refused to testify against a co-defendant, Daniel Toy, who is also charged in the cemetery case, so the Parks Township charges against him were withdrawn.

State police said Verner was living in the house along the 1200 block of Lincoln Street after she was evicted from a rehab program for heroin. But, according to state police, sometime before the break-in, between March 5 and April 9, the homeowner threw her out of that house, too.

Verner is accused of breaking into that house and stealing a $400 banjo, two computers worth about $1,000, an Elgin pocket watch valued at $400 and other items, including a model train, coin collections and Xbox games.

She is charged with theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy and trespassing.

After waiving the Parks charges to court, Verner was returned to the Armstrong County Jail on Wednesday.

Toy, 27, of Cirrincione Lane, Manor Township, was returned to the county jail because of probation violations involving a 2010 case.

In Lower Burrell, Verner and Toy are accused of taking almost $89,000 worth of brass cemetery vases from Greenwood Memorial Park, along Melwood Road, last spring.

Lower Burrell police say the two stole the vases in March and April to buy heroin.

Police say Verner, Toy and possibly another man took the vases — worth about $735 apiece — to a Templeton scrap yard for cash. An employee of the business, Manor Metals, called state police to report that many vases were being brought there.

The Lower Burrell cemetery theft trial is tentatively scheduled for Westmoreland County Court in Greensburg in early October.The Parks theft trial hasn't been scheduled.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or

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