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2 Western Pa. men charged with theft for allegedly owing $5,000 each to turnpike

Megan Guza
| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, 2:51 p.m.

Two men who owe more than $5,000 apiece in unpaid turnpike tolls and fees face theft charges, according to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office.

Andrew Betts of Plum and Christopher Visco of Irwin both face one count of theft of services, according to charges filed against them by the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and approved by the DA.

Betts, allegedly used the turnpike in Warrendale 97 times between March 1, 2017, and May 29, 2018, according to the criminal complaint, racking up $2,079 in unpaid tolls and $3,835 in fees for a total of $5,936, according to the complaint.

Visco used the same stretch of turnpike 111 times between Aug. 1, 2014, and Oct. 2, 2014, according to the criminal complaint filed against him. He owes $2,044 in tolls and $4,440 in fees for a total of $6,484 in unpaid turnpike charges, according to the complaint.

Both criminal complaints indicate “numerous attempts” were made to contact Betts and Visco regarding their unpaid tolls.

Preliminary hearings for both are scheduled for Nov. 7 in front of Magisterial District Judge William Wagner, court records show. Neither had an attorney listed.

Mike Manko, spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, said the charges come at the request of the Turnpike Commission as part of an effort to go after turnpike toll scofflaws with criminal charges.

A woman from Mount Joy pleaded guilty in July to not paying turnpike tolls on more than 1,600 trips over five years. The woman racked up more than $92,000 in unpaid tolls and fees. She paid $10,149 to the turnpike commission and was sentenced to two years of probation and 200 hours of community service.

Megan Guza is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 412-380-8519, or via Twitter @meganguzaTrib.

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