Etna man charged with stealing car, burglarizing chamber of commerce office at Pittsburgh Mills |
Valley News Dispatch

Etna man charged with stealing car, burglarizing chamber of commerce office at Pittsburgh Mills

Frazer Police Department
Richard D. Lenhart

At Etna man is accused of stealing a car and breaking into the Alle-Kiski Strong Chamber at the Pittsburgh Mills mall.

Frazer police charged Richard D. Lenhart, 48, with burglary, trespassing, receiving stolen property, access device fraud, theft, and traffic violations in connection to the Aug. 28 incident. He remained in the Allegheny County Jail on Wednesday after failing to post bond.

Lenhart allegedly broke into the Alle-Kiski Strong Chamber and made off with an unknown amount of change, a metal cash box containing $95, and a store debit card, according to the criminal complaint filed in the case. Also taken were tokens from Chuck E. Cheese.

Police said they were called to the chamber offices in the mall Aug. 28 after mall security told an employee, when she arrived for work that day, that the front door had been found open. The office had been locked when employees left the previous day, according to the complaint.

Attempts to reach someone with the chamber for comment Wednesday weren’t immediately successful.

Police determined the store’s debit card had been used at a soda machine at the mall and at a Walmart, where it had been declined for an invalid PIN.

Surveillance footage from the Walmart showed a man, later identified as Lenhart, getting out of a white car and going inside. He purchased an electronics item using cash and also attempted to use the lottery machines with a card before leaving, police said.

Police contacted the owner of the car that Lenhart was seen driving, who told them she had left it at an auto service center in Bethlehem, Pa., to get work done. Bethlehem police spoke with the owners of the shop, who said they were unaware the car had been taken and it was supposed to be there.

Shortly after an alert was issued for the car, Etna and Shaler police found it in an Aldi parking lot and took the driver into custody. The car owner told police that she didn’t know Lenhart.

Lenhart admitted to police that he took the car from the service center when he saw the keys were inside. He told police he was in a halfway house and wanted to get back home.

According to the complaint, Lenhart had an outstanding arrest warrant and his drivers license was under DUI-related suspension. The complaint didn’t say what the warrant was for.

Inside the car, police found a backpack containing clothes that matched those worn by the man in the Walmart surveillance video and a plastic bag containing coins, two of which were Chuck E. Cheese tokens.

A preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 9.

Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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