Vandergrift woman arrested with drugs in stolen car, police say
A Vandergrift woman suspected of burglarizing a Parks Township home was arrested over the weekend after police said they found her with drugs in a stolen car in Harrison.
Harrison police said they found several stamp bags of heroin on Heather Stefanik, 24, after they were called to Walnut Street and River Avenue on Saturday for a report of a suspicious car that had been parked on the street for an extended period.
The two women in the car were throwing garbage and clothes out of the vehicle, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case.
Officer Christopher Cottone said he saw clothing and food wrappers lying on the ground underneath and beside the car, which had been reported stolen in Parks. Cottone saw a crack pipe lying on the floor of the car beside the driver’s seat, according to the report.
Police identified the passenger as Lynzie Nicole Johnson, 23, of Ford City. Stefanik was in the driver’s seat, and Stefanik’s 3-year-old daughter was sitting in the back seat, unrestrained in a child seat, police said.
Stefanik screamed at police that she had permission to take the car, which belonged to her uncle, according to the complaint.
But Parks police Chief Doug Ciuca told Cottone the car had been stolen and the women were suspects in a burglary in which coins, jewelry and guns had been stolen from a home in Parks.
Both women were removed from the car, searched and arrested. As the 3-year-old was taken out of the car, police reportedly found a used heroin stamp bag on the seat. Another used stamp bag was found in the seat pouch in front of the child, who was released to her grandparents’ custody, police said.
Police said they found several heroin stamp bags inside a cigarette box in Stefanik’s purse, along with several dozen empty stamp bags and a cellphone.
Johnson was in possession of 23 heroin stamp bags, a cut plastic straw containing white residue, a used crack pipe, two Suboxone strips, several antique and collector coins in coin bags and a cellphone, police said.
Officers said they recovered an empty heroin stamp bag, a pellet-style gun and two prescription pills from the car.
Both women were released on nonmonetary bonds after their arraignments. A preliminary hearing for the pair is scheduled for May 22 before Brackenridge District Judge Carolyn S. Bengel.
Stefanik faces charges of receiving stolen property, endangering the welfare of children, drug possession and other violations. Johnson faces drug charges.
Madasyn Czebiniak is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Madasyn at 724-226-4702, [email protected] or via Twitter .