New Castle News

Police Reports

July 24, 2013

Two charged in shoplifting racket case

NEW CASTLE — Keurig coffee makers, Ninja juicers and Lego toys were popular targets of an alleged shoplifting ring that operated regionally.

Authorities charged two men in Lawrence County Tuesday with felony counts of racketeering and retail theft, but say the men — both Allegheny County residents — were active throughout western Pennsylvania and Ohio.

The suspects allegedly focused on Walmarts for the merchandise they stole, including 18 stores in Pennsylvania. Among these was the Walmart in Union Township.

The office of the Pennsylvania attorney general is charging James E. Austin, 35, of Pittsburgh and Richard D. Scalise, 39, of Monroeville in the case. The charges were filed in the office of District Judge Jennifer Nicholson.

According to the criminal complaint, authorities were contacted by a Walmart representative in April last year regarding a retail theft ring operating in Pennsylvania and Ohio and the two men — Scalise and Austin — who had been arrested in Ohio.

Walmart provided investigators with video allegedly showing the two men in various stores.

The complaint said the two men had been picked up at a Walmart in Kent, where Austin had been stopped leaving with a juicer and coffee maker. He provided security personnel with a receipt that turned out to have been issued earlier in the day.

According to the complaint, Austin admitted he was working with Scalise, who had purchased similar items and then gave Austin the receipt to produce if he was caught leaving the store with identical merchandise.

As part of the operation, the merchandise was then returned to the store with no receipt, and the suspects were given either gift cards or cash.

By checking its records, the complaint said, Walmart personnel were able to identify $3,647.51 worth of items taken by the suspects in Pennsylvania.

Scalise and Austin are charged with 18 felony counts of retail theft as well as one charge each of racketeering and conspiracy.

Preliminary hearings for the suspects have not been set.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Police Reports
  • Bus.jpg Car strikes Neshannock school bus

    A New Castle woman will be cited for failing to stop in time to avoid striking a stopped school bus. Neshannock police said Mary Clause struck the Neshannock bus, which had stopped in the 1800 block of Pulaski Road about 4 p.m. Wednesday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North Hill man faces stalking charges

    A North Hill man is facing charges for allegedly stalking a neighbor who complained he has been watching her. New Castle police have charged Donald Dean Crews, 53, of 228 E. Fairmont Ave. with two counts each of stalking and harassment.

    April 17, 2014

  • Police.jpg Man, 61, accused of raping girl

    A Wayne Township man is lodged in the Lawrence County jail, accused of raping a 14-year-old girl. Steven Louis Haynes, 61, of 4626 Ellwood Road was charged by state police in an alleged incident that occurred in February or April of last year at his home.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • fire.jpg Fire marshal probes cause of blaze

    A city police fire marshal said he hasn’t ruled yet on a blaze that ravaged two Taylor Street houses. Chris Fabian, who was at the fire scene for the duration Monday morning, said the blaze that displaced three families started in the back of a yellow, two-story duplex at 602 Taylor St.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wilson.jpg Man accused of making bomb threats

    A Sheep Hill man is in the county jail after allegedly threatening to kill a woman with a pipe bomb. New Castle officers and three members of the Pittsburgh police bomb squad went to the tan and brick two-story house at 116 W. Balph Ave. Monday to look for Daniel William Wilson, 36, who lives there.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police.jpg Home invasion suspect out of hospital, in jail

    A man shot during an alleged home invasion has been released from the hospital and jailed. Richard Andrew Javens, 43, of 3063 McClelland Ave. was discharged from Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh Saturday and immediately taken into custody on a warrant.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police.jpg City man to answer Wyoming drug charges first

    A North Hill man arrested for allegedly having guns and drugs in his house is being extradited to Wyoming. After that, Michael Antonini IV, 21, will face multiple drug charges in Lawrence County, according to New Castle Police Chief Bobby Salem.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire.jpg Photo, Video, Story: Three families homeless after fire ravages two houses

    Bronte Baxter was at home with her two babies Monday when she saw flames at the back of her house. “I was in the living room and saw fire in the kitchen,” the resident of 602 Taylor St. said. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and I went upstairs to get my phone.”

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Uncle of boy hurt at park lauds rescuers

    An uncle of the boy who fell at McConnell’s Mill State Park lauded rescue workers for their efforts. The Rev. Keith Karns said he arrived to find crews in the midst of a grueling, three-hour effort.

    April 15, 2014

  • fire.jpg VIDEO: City blaze ignites neighboring home

    A fire that started in a duplex at 532 Taylor St. today ignited a neighboring home. Three families were displaced by the blaze that broke out around 9:30 a.m. and destroyed both two-story structures.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Poll

The driver of the car that killed Shenango Township police officer Jerry McCarthy has been sentenced to five to 10 years in prison. You OK with the sentence?

Yes
No. Not long enough.
No. Too long.
Not sure
     View Results