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Homeless pair jailed in thefts

| Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, 6:12 a.m.

Two homeless people were in prison for allegedly stealing items belonging to a Mt. Pleasant Borough man.

On Feb. 11, Matthew Alan Riggs, 22, and Holly Lynn Miller, 21, both listed as homeless, were charged with two counts each of theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and conspiracy at District Judge Roger Eckels' office.

At 3:15 p.m. Feb. 5, Matthew Brawn told Mt. Pleasant police that someone stole his Troy-bilt lawn mower and Baja Motorsports mini dirt bike and that both items had been attached with a chain to his house in Pleasant Manor. Someone cut the chain and removed the locking mechanism, Brawn said. The items were valued at $300 each.

Police interviewed Brawn's neighbor, who witnessed the theft. She said she saw a man and a woman load the mower and bike onto a blue pickup truck and drive away on North Church Street. The neighbor said she recognized one of the thieves as someone who was staying with another neighbor.

Police interviewed the other neighbor, who provided them with the names of the three people who were staying at her place. One of the names was Holly Miller, according to the complaint.

Officers contacted one of the people whom the neighbor mentioned, told him to bring the items to the station along with the accomplices.

When they arrived at the station, Miller and Riggs admitted they were outside Pleasant Manor where they noticed the mower and bike and conspired to steal those two items to sell for money.

Preliminary hearings were scheduled for Riggs and Miller on Feb. 21 before Eckels.

Both were lodged in the Westmoreland County Prison on $10,000 bail.

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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