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Charleroi police laptop computer missing

| Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A laptop computer, purchased with a grant for the Charleroi Regional Police Department, is missing.

An investigation is ongoing and the board that oversees the department wants answers.

Police Chief Mike Matyas reported the computer missing during a meeting of the board Nov. 30. Matyas said he was unsure if the laptop was stolen from a patrol car or the police station.

On Wednesday, several new members joined the board. Charleroi Councilman and board member Larry Celaschi Jr. asked for an update on the laptop.

The chief told the board police have been monitoring the computer to see if someone turned it on and then identify the location. Matyas said no one has turned it on.

Randy DiPiazza, appointed to the board Jan. 6 and elected president this week, said the board is investigating the matter. He said former board members are sharing information with the new directors.

DiPiazza said the theft apparently occurred in mid-November. Matyas said the laptop was missing for a couple days before its loss was discovered.

An insurance claim has not been opened.

The $3,000 computer was one of four purchased with money from a state grant when the force was formed in April 2012.

Celaschi asked if the police were signing out laptops.

The plug for the computer was also stolen, borough manager Donn Henderson said.

DiPiazza said he planned to read the police report about the incident.

DiPiazza said he was told no significant criminal case files are stored on the laptop, just some traffic cases.

He doubted the computer's security could be breached, because it is password protected.

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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