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Pittsburgh firefighter to stand trial on burglary charges

| Monday, July 20, 2009, 12:00 p.m.

An off-duty Pittsburgh firefighter accused of calling in false alarms so he could steal money from a firehouse will stand trial on burglary charges.

Charges against Vincent T. Manzella, 31, were held for court during a preliminary hearing in Pittsburgh Municipal Court this morning.

Manzella is accused of stealing $35 during the spree at the Engine 6 station at the corner of 40th Street and Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville.

City police Lt. Daniel M. Herrmann said Manzella is accused of calling in false alarms that he knew required a response from all firefighters on duty.

As soon as the station was empty, Manzella used his key to get in and quickly rummage through the concession area and elsewhere, grabbing small amounts of cash and loose change, Herrmann said.

Firefighters noticed the money missing when they returned from the false alarms, which began in April.

Manzella's attorney argued the act did not constitute burglary because Manzella had a key and authorization to be in the firehouse.

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