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Valley News Dispatch

Selfie leads to Leechburg burglary arrests

Chuck Biedka
| Tuesday, March 6, 2018, 3:39 p.m.

Leechburg police used a cellphone selfie to find and charge two borough men with burglary.

Derek Justin Hare, 30, of Graham Avenue and Joshua Edward Tipton, also 30, of Second Avenue are accused of taking at least $700 worth of items from an Adams Avenue house Wednesday.

“Tipton, who moved into Leechburg about two weeks ago, left his cellphone there,” temporary Officer in Charge Jason Schaeffer said Tuesday. “It even had his selfie on the phone.”

According to an arrest report, the phone was found in the living room of the residence that was burglarized. The resident gave the phone to police.

Schaeffer went to Tipton's address and left a message asking him to call police. Tipton went to the police station to ask about the phone.

“I asked him, ‘Where did you leave it?' And he said, ‘I don't know.' And I told him it was left in the house,” Schaeffer said.

The man replied with a sharp “Oh ...”

Schaeffer said both men had been drinking and that is likely why Tipton couldn't recall what happened to his phone.

Schaeffer arrested both men Monday.

Police allege the men took a gaming system and games, a pair of Nike shoes, cologne and a bag containing Viagra pills.

They are charged with felony burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, criminally entering a structure and criminal mischief.

The men were arraigned. Bail was set at $25,000 each pending a preliminary hearing scheduled for March 21 in the Leechburg office of District Judge James Andring.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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