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2 men face hearings in vehicle, item thefts

| Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Scottdale man and a Connellsville man are behind bars after they were allegedly involved in vehicle thefts and stealing items from vehicles.

Dylon James Prolenski, a.k.a. John James Prolenski, 21, of Scottdale, was charged on Feb. 5 before District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr. with two counts of theft by unlawful taking, two counts of receiving stolen property and one count of conspiracy.

Zachery Taran Leonard, 18, of Connellsville was charged on Feb. 8 before Haggerty with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.

The charges stem from an investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police Auto Task Force involving two separate incidents that occurred in Connellsville and South Connellsville.

Sometime between Nov. 9 and Nov. 10 along Chestnut Street, Connellsville, Prolenski reportedly stole the Chevrolet Equinox of Melissa Chamberlin.

On Jan. 29, investigators questioned Leonard, who said Prolenski picked him up one night at the Dunbar Eagles in the Equinox. Leonard thought it was Prolenski's mother's vehicle, he said. Leonard also told the investigator that he and Prolenski went to a party where they drank beer.

Prolenski was questioned on Jan. 31 and admitted to stealing the Equinox and later abandoning it in Vanderbilt where the vehicle was recovered. Inside the vehicle investigators found beer cans.

Between 1:30 a.m. and 12:25 p.m. Dec. 9 along Hyndman Street, South Connellsville, the Chevrolet Tracker of Delmar Housel was stolen.

According to the complaint, investigators interviewed Jared Kreinbrook, Leonard's brother, over an incident where he was selling a bug shield and door rain shields that Housel said was stolen from his Tracker.

Kreinbrook told investigators Leonard brought the parts to their house. He also said he saw Leonard and Prolenski riding together in a Tracker around Thanksgiving / Christmas.

On Jan. 29, Leonard admitted he drove Prolenski to South Connellsville so Prolenski could steal the Tracker that he had earlier “scoped out.”

Leonard said they drove the vehicle around all that night, stealing items from vehicles in Smock and in other locations.

Prolenski and Leonard were lodged in the Fayette County Prison. Prolenski's bail was set at $15,000 for one incident and $10,000 on another incident. Leonard's bail was set at $25,000.

Preliminary hearings for Prolenski are scheduled before Haggerty at 9 a.m. Feb. 12 and 2 p.m. Feb. 14. Leonard's preliminary hearing is scheduled before Haggerty at 11 a.m. Feb. 14.

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-626-3539 or mhofmann@tribweb.com.

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