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4 charged in thefts of iPads, iPods from Cal U-CCAC program

| Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, 1:11 a.m.

A CCAC employee, her husband, daughter and daughter's boyfriend were charged in an alleged theft ring linked to the nursing program at California University of Pennsylvania.

The thefts involved iPads, iPad minis and iPods.

Shannon Wallace, 41, of 107 North Vine St., Carmichaels, was charged with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, receiving stolen property, tampering with or fabricating evidence, misapplication of entrusted property, conspiracy and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities.

Wallace was a medical administrative assistant and a Community College of Allegheny County employee. She handled secretarial tasks for the program and was stationed at Cal U.

Her husband, Howard Wallace, 41, of the same address, was charged with receiving stolen property, dealing in proceeds unlawful activities, theft by deception, and conspiracy.

Her daughter, Stephanie Yoder, 20, of 10 Biddle Acre, Carmichaels, was charged with receiving stolen property, dealing in proceeds unlawful activities, theft by deception, and conspiracy.

Ryan Havanis, 30, also of 10 Biddle Acre, was charged with receiving stolen property, dealing in proceeds unlawful activities, theft by deception, and conspiracy.

All four were arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Joshua Kanalis in West Brownsville and released on $2,500 unsecured cash bond.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, Shannon Wallace ordered iPads and iPad minis for the nursing program.

Beginning in February 2011, she allegedly began to steal the devices from the university, and with the help of the other defendants, resell them at GameStop stores in Morgantown, W.Va., Uniontown and Washington.

Over a two-year period, they took 51 iPads and iPods valued at $21,460, according to affidavit.

Cal U spokeswoman Christine Kindl said that through a collaborative relationship between the Community College of Allegheny County and the university, students attend classes on the Cal U campus. Faculty members from CCAC teach nursing courses at Cal U. Cal U faculty members teach non-nursing courses. Successful students receive CCAC associate degrees in nursing.

“The investigation started when they noticed the iPads weren't matching up with inventory,” Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone said of school officials. “The investigation involved my office and the university working together. It came together pretty quickly.”

Kindl said the university applauded the cooperative investigation.

“California University holds everyone who works on this campus to the highest standard of conduct, and we are distressed by these allegations of wrongdoing by a CCAC staff member assigned here,” Kindl said.

“At the same time, we appreciate the very thorough and professional investigation conducted by our California University Police Department.

“We will continue to cooperate with law enforcement as this case moves forward.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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