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3 charged in string of vehicle break-ins

| Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013, 9:35 p.m.

State police in Greensburg said they have cracked a vehicle burglary ring in Unity.

Tyler L. Quakenbush, 20, and Chelsea E. Mahkovic, 20, both of Latrobe, and an unidentified Latrobe-area teenager are charged with more than a dozen thefts and vehicle break-ins in the Wimmerton development.

Charges are pending against a 21-year-old Youngstown man.

State police Trooper John Zalich reported in an affidavit of probable cause filed with Unity District Judge Michael Mahady that a break in the case came early Aug. 1 when a Black Hills Drive resident reported to police that someone was stealing from cars.

Troopers Robert Daerr and Brian Thomas were dispatched to the scene at 1:30 a.m. and discovered Mahkovic sitting in a 1999 silver Dodge Neon.

When asked what she was doing, Mahkovic responded that she “was waiting for some friends.”

“Mahkovic was confronted about stealing from cars, and she admitted that they were,” Zalich said.

Police towed the car to the state police barracks in Hempfield and acquired a search warrant revealing more than $2,000 worth of items believed stolen.

Neighborhood interviews showed there are at least 13 victims to date, Zalich said.

Among the stolen items is a 9 mm handgun that has not been recovered.

Mahkovic's hearing is scheduled for Oct. 7 before Mahady. Quakenbush's hearing date is pending. The minor's case will be handled in juvenile court.

Paul Peirce is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 orppeirce@tribweb.com.

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