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Suspected package thief wanted in Irwin area arrested breaking into officer's car, cops say

Paul Peirce
| Thursday, Feb. 1, 2018, 4:57 p.m.

A 22-year-old North Huntingdon man on the run for more than a month because he was wanted on multiple theft charges for allegedly stealing Christmas packages from front porches picked the wrong car to break into Wednesday.

Jaime T. Shipley was arrested by Jeannette police Wednesday after off-duty city Cpl. John Ryan left the Arlington Sportsman's Club on Morningside Avenue about 7:13 p.m. and discovered someone rifling through his vehicle. That man was Shipley, Ryan said.

Lt. Richard O'Neal reported in court documents filed before District Judge Joseph DeMarchis that Ryan asked Shipley why he was in the car and Shipley tried to run.

Ryan was able to catch Shipley and subdue him until other officers arrived, O'Neal reported in the affidavit of probable cause.

O'Neal alleges that once Ryan identified himself as an off-duty police officer and explained other officers were on their way, Shipley resisted again.

β€œ(Shipley) attempted to pull away from Cpl. Ryan's grasp and struck him several times about the head in an attempt to escape,” O'Neal wrote in the affidavit.

O'Neal said Shipley repeatedly refused to identify himself to officers when questioned and replied with verbal slurs directed toward officers.

β€œHe repeatedly told me he was going to have my job ... and that his attorney was going to ruin my life,” O'Neal wrote.

Shipley eventually was taken to a holding cell at the Greensburg City Police Department, where he was fingerprinted and positively identified overnight.

He was arraigned Thursday afternoon before North Huntingdon District Judge Wayne Gongaware on multiple theft charges filed by township and Irwin police in connection with the pre-Christmas thefts of packages from area porches. He was ordered held in the prison after failing to post $10,000 bond.

Shipley is scheduled to be arraigned Friday before DeMarchis on charges of criminal attempt, escape, resisting arrest, aggravated assault on a police officer and obstruction of justice filed by O'Neal.

Police were able to positively identify Shipley after releasing to the public photographs of the thief taking the packages that were captured by victims' security cameras.

After he was positively identified Thursday, Shipley told authorities he had been living on Gongaware Road in Jeannette.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860 or ppeirce@tribweb.com.

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