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Area man charged in unusual theft scam

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Monday, Feb. 22, 2010

NORTH BELLE VERNON - A borough man is in the Westmoreland County Prison after being charged in a tractor parts scam.

William Charles Stevenson, 40, of 424 Hill St., was arrested Friday and charged with 42 counts of theft by deception and 45 counts of receiving stolen property.

NBV police Sgt. Howard Rider said police executed a search warrant at Stevenson's home and found several items that were reported as stolen.

Rider said that Stevenson was allegedly contacting various tractor parts retailers through the country and ordering mass tractor parts and accessories and not paying for them.

Stevenson was then selling the parts on his own, Rider said.

Rider said that Stevenson had been convicted of a similar scam a year ago and was on house arrest at the time of the latest incident.

"He was doing just the opposite before," Rider said.

"He would answer ads from people in need of tractor parts and would tell them he could sell them the parts but needed a bulk of the money up front.

"Then he would get the money and not send the parts."

Stevenson was under house arrest for that crime.

Rider said that Stevenson came under scrutiny recently when his probation officer paid him a home visit.

During the visit UPS delivered a large order of tractor supplies to his house.

"The probation officer told us we might want to look into that," Rider said.

Rider said that police had also received a complaint from one of the companies that Stevenson allegedly bilked out of supplies.

Stevenson was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Roger Eckels in Norvelt and was taken to the county jail in lieu of $25,000 straight cash bond.

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