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ORC 8-25-11





2011 Archives

Pennsylvania Man Charged with Organized Retail Theft

With over 90 thefts from Lowe's and Home Depot

SWISSVALE, PA – A Swissvale man was charged Wednesday with devising a scheme that enabled him to steal at least $70,000 worth of gift cards from Lowe's and Home Depot stores throughout Pennsylvania and later sell those gift cards on Craig's List for 60 percent of their value, police said.

According to the criminal complaint, Jason Novak, 39, entered Lowe's and Home Depot stores empty handed, filled a cart with expensive items, such as range hoods, carpets and sinks, and then took the items directly to the return desk to receive store credit for the stolen items.

The charges state that Novak used this scheme at least 50 times at various Lowe's stores and at least 40 times at Home Depot stores. 

Novak presented fraudulent Pennsylvania photo identification to the cashier and each time received a gift card for the value of the returned items, officials said. Agents said they believe that Novak used at least 35 different Pennsylvania license numbers and each time signed the return receipt using the false name on the identification.

Agents executed a search warrant on Novak's home and recovered 11 fake Pennsylvania photo identification cards, three cell phones, computers and other electronic items, police said.

Novak is charged with 88 counts of theft by deception, 88 counts of theft by unlawful taking, 88 counts of retail theft, 56 counts of identity theft, 56 counts of forgery, 11 counts of unlawful use of a computer and two counts of criminal use of a communication facility.  (Source

Officials say Novak is currently a fugitive and being sought by authorities in Pennsylvania.


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