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Fayette woman faces more shoplifting charges

Paul Peirce
| Saturday, April 28, 2012, 6:48 a.m.

A Fayette County inmate accused of stealing television sets from a Wal-Mart in South Union has been charged with stealing more than $1,300 worth of computer equipment from a Hempfield Wal-Mart.

Marlene Jo Ritenour, 34, who lists recent addresses in Connellsville and Scottdale, was charged by state police in Greensburg in similar thefts Dec. 24 and Feb. 27 at the Greengate Center store.

The recent charges against Ritenour are similar to the multiple theft charges filed last month by state police in Uniontown. According to Trooper John T. Beynon III, Ritenour put computer equipment in a shopping cart and left the store through an fire-exit door without paying for it. She allegedly stole two 20-inch computer monitors Feb. 27 and a single 20-inch flat-screen monitor on Dec. 24.

A red pickup truck, driven by an unknown person, picked her up outside the store, Beynon said in affidavits of probable cause filed before Hempfield District Judge Mark Mansour.

Both thefts were captured on store video-surveillance cameras, and she was identified through the videos, according to police.

Mansour has scheduled a preliminary hearing for May 8.

On March 2, Ritenour turned herself in to state police in Uniontown after troopers publicized outstanding warrants seeking her arrest. She is being held in the Fayette County Prison in lieu of $4,500 bond.

Ritenour has a history of shoplifting at Wal-Mart stores, police said. She was arrested several times in 2007, once in 2008 and this year on Feb. 9 and Feb. 18 at the South Union Wal-Mart store.

On Feb. 9, Ritenour is accused of putting a 22-inch television set in a shopping cart and wheeling it out a fire exit. In the Feb. 18 incident, she is accused of taking $700 worth of merchandise through a fire exit.

She waived her right to preliminary hearings in connection with the South Union thefts, according to court records.

In January 2008, Ritenour and another woman led four police cruisers on a 13-mile chase after they were caught trying to haul two carts filled with goods stolen from the South Union Wal-Mart. The women told police they were homeless and were living out of the car they used as a getaway vehicle.

In addition, police found $3,000 worth of jewelry stolen from a Monroeville K-Mart inside the vehicle.

Ritenour previously had told authorities she lived at an address in the Fort Allen section of Hempfield.

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