Former dealership employee accused of theft
A Bethel Park man is accused of stealing nearly $37,000 from customers who bought cars from Century III Chevrolet in West Mifflin to feed his gambling addiction, according to the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.
Robert Francis Heiser, 28, was arraigned on Thursday on charges of theft and receiving stolen property and released on $35,000 bond.
Investigators said Heiser, a former finance manager at the dealership along Lebanon Church Road, told at least six customers purchasing new and used cars to leave the payee line blank on their down payment checks because he intended to later use a stamp with the dealership's name. Instead, Heiser reportedly wrote his name on the line and deposited the checks — ranging from $2,500 to $11,200 — in his own bank account.
Representatives for the dealership filed a complaint with West Mifflin police in July and Heiser told investigators that he had a gambling problem and had been stealing money from the company for approximately 16 months. He said he frequented the Rivers Casino on the North Side and detectives said he lost more than $175,000 between August 2009 and last month. Heiser was fired the day he confessed.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.