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Vandergrift woman charged with stealing newspapers

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Vandergrift woman is accused of stealing bundles of newspapers to get coupons, police say.

Linda Altman, 58, of the 1300 block of Hancock Ave., was charged Wednesday by Allegheny Township police.

Police said she was seen taking the two bundles of 100 newspapers each from a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette collection point at the Crossroads Mini Storage along Weinels Crossroads at about 7:30 a.m. and then driving away in a white SUV.

Altman was pulled over while driving such a vehicle by a Lower Burrell police officer along Leechburg Road, said Allegheny Township police Chief John Fontaine.

"She said she took them to get coupons," he said. "I've heard of extreme couponing, but not like this."

Robert Walker, the adult newspaper carrier who was waiting for the bundles, said he's had this happen for quite a while, not only on Wednesday, Fontaine said.

"He said it has cost him about $2,700," the chief said.

Altman is charged with burglary, theft, criminal trespass and receiving stolen property only in connection with Wednesday's theft.

She was arraigned by Allegheny Township District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec on $5,000 unsecured bond. A hearing was set for April 3.

Walker of East Vandergrift said delivering the newspapers is his primary source of income.

Walker said he delivers 425 papers on Sunday in the township, Vandergrift and Apollo.

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