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Arrest made in Plum burglary that ended with crash at Penn Hills Service Association

| Wednesday, June 18, 2014, 2:33 p.m.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
A sizable hole is overlaid with plywood and plastic at the Penn Hills Service Association on Universal Road. Manager Ed Hoover sits outside the association, on the right.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
A car chase resulting from a burglary report in Plum ended with the suspect's car crashing into the northeast corner of the Penn Hills Service Association building.
Patrick Varine | Penn Hills Progress
The crash punched a hole straight through the building's wall. No one was inside the building when the crash occurred.

A Plum man is in the Allegheny County Jail, charged in connection with a burglary in Plum that ended in a crash in Penn Hills.

Plum police said Monday they charged Jesse Joel Geraci, 31, of Saltsburg Road with one count each of burglary and criminal mischief and two counts each of theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property in connection with a June 17 burglary at a Regency Drive home.

A woman told police she returned home in the late morning to find that someone broke into the house and took jewelry and small electronics, according to Plum police Chief Jeff Armstrong.

Officers discovered the 1998 green Toyota Camry, reported stolen from Regency Drive in Penn Hills, and when they attempted a traffic stop, the suspect fled on Universal Road.

Police chased the car, and Armstrong said the suspect's car struck a county police vehicle before crashing into a corner of the Penn Hills Service Association building on Universal Road.

A roughly 3-by-6-foot hole caused by the crash is covered with plywood and plastic.

Ed Hoover, service association manager, the crash didn't interrupt the association's food and clothing pantries.

Plum police Lt. Lanny Conley said Geraci was arrested by Port Authority Police and the U.S. Marshal-led fugitive task force when they learned that Geraci was trying to leave the area by bus.

Conley said Penn Hills police also will file charges against Geraci stemming from the pursuit and crash.

Geraci's preliminary hearing on the Plum charges will be at 9 a.m. July 2 before District Judge Linda Zucco.

Karen Zapf and Patrick Varine are Trib Total Media staff writers. Reach Zapf at 412-871-2367 or and Varine at 412-320-7845 or

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