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Goodwill workers accused in scam

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By The Valley Independent
Tuesday, Dec. 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Two Mid-Mon Valley men will face trial in Westmoreland County Court after police said they stole nearly $4,000 worth of merchandise while working at the Goodwill store in Rostraver Township before selling the items online.

James M. Silsley, 61, of 595 Mt. Etna Road, Smithton, and Chris Bartolotta, 31, of 708 Fallowfield Ave., Charleroi, each face single felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy.

Both waived their rights to preliminary hearings Monday before Magisterial District Judge Charles Christner in West Newton.

Rostraver police said they received a call Nov. 7 from a loss prevention officer at the store, located at 140 Finley Road. The store allegedly had video footage of Bartolotta and Silsley concealing items they thought had resale value.

Police said Silsley provided a written statement on Nov. 12 admitting he took the merchandise from June 2012 to November 2013 and sold them on eBay.

The merchandise would be previously stashed away by him and Bartolotta, Silsley stated.

The pair would split the money, but Silsley allegedly told police he wanted 60 percent of the profits because he was taking the bigger chance by physically removing items from the store. Police estimate the total value of the items at $3,792.

Both men were released on their own recognizance.

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