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Jeannette mother, daughter accused in theft

| Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2012, 12:59 p.m.

A Jeannette mother and daughter, who have twice been charged with enslaving and assaulting teenage girls, allegedly stole items from outside a thrift store donation box earlier this month.

Cynthia Pollard, 47, and her daughter, Tabitha Pollard, 22, both of 12 Cuyler Ave., were charged last week with theft, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy.

In court papers, Jeannette police said the manager of the Thrift King store on Lowry Avenue reported a theft on Nov. 13.

The store manager showed police a surveillance video of two women who had left the store after making purchases. Police recognized the women as Cynthia and Tabitha Pollard.

In the video, Cynthia Pollard pushed a shopping cart and walked to a black vehicle. Tabitha Pollard walked toward the clothing donation box in the parking lot, picked up items next to the box and placed them in the vehicle, police said.

The items included a weed trimmer, a box of children's books, a men's jacket, a women's swimsuit and two women's bustiers, police said. The value of the items totaled nearly $72.

The women then got into the vehicle and left, police said.

Jeannette police went to the Pollard residence and confronted Cynthia Pollard, demanding return of the items.

Cynthia Pollard handed over the items and claimed that a woman who worked at the store told her that items outside the donation box could be taken.

The manager at Thrift King told police no such permission was given.

Police returned the items to the store and filed charges against the Pollards.

Cynthia Pollard was sentenced to 11 12 to 23 months in jail in 2010 on a felony charge of involuntary servitude stemming from an incident in which she and other family members enslaved a 17-year-old girl in their Jeannette home. Tabitha Pollard pleaded guilty to unlawful restraint, terroristic threats and conspiracy in that incident and was sentenced to nine to 23 months in jail.

Police said the teen was repeatedly struck, threatened and forced into sex acts for nearly three weeks in exchange for food and cigarettes.

Cynthia Pollard received the same sentence in 2008 for her role in an enslavement case involving a 19-year-old woman who was held against her will for six months when the family lived in Greensburg. Tabitha Pollard was charged as a juvenile in that case.

Both women face a preliminary hearing on the latest charges on Dec. 20 before Jeannette District Judge Joseph DeMarchis.

Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or