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Pittsburgh police: Men steal SUV from Downtown valet stand, crash in Homewood

Megan Guza
| Monday, April 16, 2018, 11:15 a.m.

Two Pittsburgh men accused of stealing an SUV from a Downtown valet stand allegedly tried to elude police early Monday but crashed the vehicle and confessed to the theft, authorities said.

Officers patrolling the city's Homewood section about 2:45 a.m. spotted the SUV, which had been reported stolen earlier in the night from the valet stand of a Downtown hotel, according to Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri.

When officers attempted to pull over the vehicle, the driver tried to get away but immediately crashed on Frankstown Avenue, Togneri said. The two men were initially stuck in the SUV because the door was resting against a wall.

Although police said the pursuit was short-lived, they intend to charge the alleged driver — later identified as John Van Allen, 20, of the city's Lincoln-Lemington neighborhood — with attempting to flee.

Van Allen and passenger Tyrese Sittler, 19, of Perry South admitted to stealing the SUV, Togneri said. Officers found a gun in vehicle, according to Togneri.

Van Allen is charged with theft, receiving stolen property, firearms violations, conspiracy and fleeing police. Sittler is charged with theft and conspiracy.

No officers or bystanders were injured.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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