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Two charged with setting fire to truck

| Saturday, July 24, 2004

Two Indiana County men were jailed Wednesday after state police accused them of allegedly burning a rented pickup truck.

Thomas Lute, 19, of Dixonville, and James Maskrey, 19, of Blairsville, were arraigned before District Justice Susanne Steffe, of Homer City, on charges of arson and criminal mischief. Maskrey was sent to the county jail in lieu of $5,000 bail and Lute was jailed after failing to post $10,000 bail.

Police said Maskrey rented a 2002 GMC pickup truck from U-Haul. As he was driving it on Allen Bridge Road in Cherryhill Township, he rolled the vehicle over. He walked down the road and came in contact with Lute, whom police said told Maskrey that they could burn the vehicle and then Maskrey could report it stolen. They then burned the vehicle and Maskrey reported the vehicle stolen to state police at Indiana, according to police.

Lute also was arrested on charges of terroristic threats and possession of a firearm without a license. He was charged after being identified by four people who said Lute threatened them with a handgun after they were involved in a confrontation with him on June 12 in the parking lot of the Sheetz convenience store along Ben Franklin Road in White Township.

Lute, who was identified by the victims during the investigation, was arrested Wednesday and arraigned before Steffe on the charges. He was sent to the county jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. Police said charges also are pending against a known juvenile in the incident, including hindering apprehension and filing false reports to law enforcement.

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