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Youngwood meat thief nabbed with public's help, police say

Renatta Signorini
| Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017, 3:45 p.m.
State police are seeking help identifying this man who they said stole meat, seafood and dog food from a Shop 'N Save in Youngwood on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Investigators released surveillance footage on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.
State police are seeking help identifying this man who they said stole meat, seafood and dog food from a Shop 'N Save in Youngwood on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. Investigators released surveillance footage on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.
Ryan Thomas Powell
Ryan Thomas Powell
A male suspect who stole meat, seafood and dog food on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 from a Shop 'N Save store in Youngwood fled in a white Volvo. Police released surveillance photos on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.
A male suspect who stole meat, seafood and dog food on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017 from a Shop 'N Save store in Youngwood fled in a white Volvo. Police released surveillance photos on Friday, Aug. 25, 2017.

Numerous calls from the public helped state police nab an alleged thief who tried to steal meat, seafood and dog food from a Youngwood grocery store last month.

Police arrested Ryan Thomas Powell, 34, in connection with the theft.

In court papers, investigators said Powell tried to leave the Shop 'N Save store about 1:30 p.m. Aug. 23 without paying for the items, according to a criminal complaint. When he was confronted by store employees in the parking lot, he allegedly abandoned the $263 worth of food and fled in a car with a Florida registration plate, according to police.

He didn't have to go far to get home — Powell lives about a mile away. Police released surveillance photos to the media two days later and received “numerous calls” identifying him as the suspect, according to the complaint.

He was arrested Sunday on charges of retail theft and flight to avoid apprehension and was being held in the Westmoreland County Prison on $5,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday.

Police said Powell allegedly was involved in similar thefts at other area grocery stores, but no additional charges have been filed.

He did not have an attorney listed in online court records.

Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-837-5374, rsignorini@tribweb.com or via Twitter @byrenatta.

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