Pitcairn police hope arrests halt string of five burglaries
Pitcairn police hope that a recent arrest put an end to a string of burglaries in the area.
Jesse Richard, 28, of Horizon View Drive in Penn Hills, was charged in connection with a burglary reported Nov. 16 on Robinson Street. The resident told police that more than $15,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from the house when no one was at home.
Police also charged Richard's girlfriend, Heather Begley, with conspiracy to commit burglary. Police accused Begley of selling some of the stolen jewelry at a local gold buyer.
After making calls to gold buyers in the area, Pitcairn officer Louis Cuccaro said, police found that Richard and Begley were regular customers in recent weeks.
They are accused of receiving about $4,000 from Treasure Hunt in Irwin and Atlantic Gold Exchange in Monroeville for jewelry reported missing from the house. There was additional jewelry the couple sold at a local gold dealer that the Nov. 16 victim could not identify, according to the criminal complaint.
Five burglaries were reported last month in Pitcairn that involved empty houses and stolen jewelry.
None have been reported since Richard was arrested, Farally said. As of Monday, police were investigating a possible connection to the other burglaries, Farally said.
Richard waived a preliminary hearing last week on charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy in connection with the Nov. 16 incident. Charges of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct were withdrawn.
County detectives initially were called out to investigate the burglary because of the value of the jewelry that was reported stolen, but they let Pitcairn police take the lead, said Farally, who commended Cuccaro for going beyond his duties as a Pitcairn officer.
“These guys are taking a lot of initiative, they're getting the job done,” Farally said.
Richard and Begley recently moved out of Pitcairn, where police had multiple “interactions” with Richard, according to the criminal complaint.
The Allegheny County public defender who represented Richard could not be reached for comment.
Burglars in Pitcairn and Monroeville over the last few years have targeted empty homes and valuable jewelry, which can be exchanged for cash at one of the many gold buyers and pawn shops in the area.
However, pawning jewelry at those stores could lead police to the thieves. Gold buyers are required by state law to validate a customer's state identification card and log the person's name so it is available if police request help in an investigation, Farally said.
An employee at Atlantic Gold Exchange in Monroeville who declined to give a name — per company policy — said Friday that while the business cooperates fully with all police investigations, employees have to be cautious about what might appear to be suspicious behavior.
Kyle Lawson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8755, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
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 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.
- Linebacker Harrison coming along slowly since return to Steelers
- Steelers notebook: Shazier returns just in time
- Komen acceptance of drilling-linked money raises ire
- Monsour hospital properties sold at free-and-clear sale
- Protestants preparing for Reformation Sunday observances; Protestants, Catholics plan for 2017
- Running against Obama
- Flyers continue mastery of Penguins at Consol
- Car crashes into house on East Brady Road in East Franklin
- Zappala impersonation suspect arrested; stores offered reimbursement
- 15206Project finds goals for rain
- Pens look to buck shots, goals trend