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Dealership employee stole $30K to support drug habit, police say

| Saturday, March 9, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A manager in a car dealership is accused of stealing nearly $30,000 in cash from sales down-payments to fuel a drug habit.

Thomas Carrigan, 35, of 785 Crest Drive, Monessen, is charged with theft, forgery and receiving stolen property by Rostraver police.

Carrigan altered sales transactions as a finance manager for C. Harper Chevrolet in Rostraver between Aug. 14, 2012, and Jan. 3, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

A general manager at the dealership reported the thefts to police.

The manager did not return calls for comment on Carrigan's employment status.

Another employee at the dealership would not comment and said the manager was not in.

Responsible for preparing the bill of sale and bank contracts for vehicles,

Carrigan changed interest rates and after-sale warranty prices, but the customers' payments remained the same, police said.

In 16 sales, Carrigan added between $500 and $9,941 to each deal, totaling $29,501.50, according to court documents.

The finance manager would change the value of the cash down-payment and forge the victim's name on the sales contract to complete the transaction, police said.

Carrigan admitted to police that the cash was then used to buy drugs, according to the affidavit.

Rostraver police officer Stephen Sholtis would not offer any further details about how the dealership realized the money was missing.

Carrigan was arraigned before West Newton District Judge Charles Christner on Tuesday and is being held in lieu of $25,000 unsecured bail in the Westmoreland County jail.

He faces a preliminary hearing March 18 before Christner.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6660 or sfederoff@tribweb.com.

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