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Mother's suspicion leads to 4 arrests in Charleroi thefts

- John Koster
John Koster
- Erik Spaziani
Erik Spaziani

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Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 1:11 a.m.

A Charleroi mother's suspicion that her son was stealing items from vehicles led to four arrests — including her son.

Charleroi Regional police charged John Wayne Koster III, 19, of 1010 Meadow Ave., and Erik Sean-Michael Spaziani, 18, of 407 10th St., with theft by unlawful taking, criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property and corruption of minors.

They are accused of involving two juvenile boys in a rash of vehicle break-ins in Charleroi and North Charleroi. The four allegedly stole a 2006 Ford Taurus from the Crest Avenue Apartments parking lot.

Police said the woman went to the police station Nov. 26 to report she believed her son was selling stolen goods to get money to buy drugs. She told police her son was in possession of GPS devices, Xbox video game systems, and radios, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

The mother told police Koster was staying in her home and that she found similar items in his bedroom, according to the affidavit.

She returned about an hour later with some of the items, including a GPS. Police found a stored home address in the GPS, and contacted the device's owner in Fallowfield Township.

Police later questioned the woman's son, Koster, and Spaziani, who each allegedly confessed they were involved in the thefts.

The woman's son told police the group had agreed the previous weekend to walk around and try and steal items from vehicles.

He said they found the Ford Taurus in the apartment's parking lot and the group took turns driving it around the Mon Valley, according to the affidavit.

Koster and the other juvenile allegedly got out of the stolen car on Twilight Hollow Road. Spaziani and the woman's son then abandoned the car on Lincoln Avenue Extension.

Koster and Spaziani were arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Joshua Kanalis in Centerville. They were sent to the Washington County Correctional Facility, each in lieu of $50,000 bond.

They face preliminary hearings 9 a.m. Dec. 9 before Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins in Charleroi.

It could not be determined before presstime if the juveniles had been charged in the case.

In a separate case, Spaziani waived his right to a preliminary hearing Nov. 14 before Hopkins on a charge of corruption of minors.

He was charged Oct. 11 after he was allegedly found in bed with a 14-year-old juvenile at his residence, according to Charleroi Regional police.

Stacy Wolford is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-684-2640 or at

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