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Police: Greensburg pair left 2 tots home during visit to drug clinic

| Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A Greensburg man and woman are charged with leaving two children home alone to go to a methadone clinic, city police said.

Jeffrey Thomas, 29, and Amber Rae Johnston, 28, are charged with endangering the welfare of children, court records show.

Police said they went to a Menoher Way residence about 9:30 a.m. Sept. 30, after Thomas called them.

Thomas went to the home, found his laptop computer on the porch and his two children, ages 4 and 5, without adult supervision.

“The door was open so he went inside to find that his two children ... had been left home alone,” police wrote in an affidavit. “Thomas stated he saw Johnston at the methadone clinic earlier this morning and she got into a fight with the female who gave him a ride.”

Johnston, who Thomas claimed planned to pawn his laptop, arrived home and told police that Thomas, her former boyfriend, was with the children when she left for the clinic, according to court papers.

“It is unknown which parent left first, but both were at the methadone clinic at the same time,” Patrolman George Soflak said. “This was confirmed by the security guard.”

The guard said Thomas arrived at the clinic first, followed by Johnston about 10 minutes later, police said.

“Both were aware that the children were left unattended while they were (at the clinic),” police said.

The two children were asleep when police arrived.

Police contacted the Westmoreland County Children's Bureau.

Thomas, who is free on $3,500 unsecured bond, will have a preliminary hearing on Thursday before Greensburg District Judge James Albert.

Johnston was sent a notice about the charges and is scheduled to appear for a hearing on Oct. 31.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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