2 men accused in Cranberry Township smash-and-grab scheme

·2 min read

Two men from out of state are accused in a series of crimes that spanned across county lines.

The investigation into suspected accomplices Le Terrence Johnson, of Georgia, and Derek Washington, of Florida, began earlier this month in Cranberry Township.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by Channel 11, the two are accused of breaking into vehicles that had been parked in Cranberry Township Community Park on Aug. 17.

“Usually, when we have items taken from cars, it’s from unlocked vehicles,” said Cranberry Twp. Police Lt. Chuck Mascellino. “They have been actually breaking windows.”

Between the thefts, the alleged thieves are accused of getting away with purses, wallets and other items valued at $735. They also stole debit and credit cards from the vehicles, which were used at Dollar General Stores in Baden, Ambridge and Coraopolis, per police.

Video surveillance helped investigators build their case.

The suspects are accused of using the stolen cards to purchase prepaid gift cards. Victims reported having nearly $2,000 of unauthorized purchases on their accounts.

“We were able to get a suspect vehicle which was later viewed in Frazer Township,” Mascellino said. “A pursuit ensued from that.”

According to the criminal complaint, Washington was observed at a Walmart in Frazer in a rented Jeep Grand Cherokee. When police attempted to stop the vehicle, Washington allegedly struck a patrol vehicle and nearly hit an officer before getting away.

On Friday, another smash-and-grab was reported in Cranberry Township.

It was determined that Johnson had been staying at a hotel in Moon Township, according to court documents. With police coordination there, both suspects were arrested over the weekend.

Investigators say they’re working to determine whether the suspects committed crimes elsewhere.

Both are due in court for their preliminary hearings this Friday.

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