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Updated 8 minutes ago
North Huntingdon police responding to a suspected heroin overdose at a bank may have solved a burglary in which nearly $40,000 of jewelry was taken from a pawn shop in neighboring Hempfield.
Kenneth J. Rossi, 54, of Jeannette was charged with receiving stolen property by Patrolman Nick Dreistadt after Rossi overdosed just before noon Saturday and was revived by ambulance personnel at PNC Bank at 8735 Norwin Ave.
Rossi was in the process of acquiring a safety deposit box when he collapsed, according to a police affidavit. As emergency workers arrived to treat Rossi, bank officials gave Dreistadt a small black bag containing jewelry that Rossi brought into the bank.
“Most of the items had small white price tags on them as items being sold at pawnshops commonly have,” Dreistadt wrote. Paramedics also gave police four men's rings and a pawn shop slip taken from Rossi that showed he had recently pawned several other pieces of jewelry for $402.
Police are investigating whether Rossi is responsible for an overnight smash and grab burglary last week at Jake's Haggle Hut along Route 30.
Pawn shop owner Jake Cunningham said police called him after the incident and he was able to identify several of the items taken from Rossi as those stolen from his shop.
“I couldn't believe it when police called me Saturday afternoon,” Cunningham said. “To be honest, I never thought I'd see that jewelry again. One of the police officers told me if (Rossi) had just been a few more minutes and completed the acquisition of the lock box before collapsing, I probably would have never seen that jewelry again,” Rossi said.
State police have not filed charges in connection with the pawn shop burglary. Dreistadt could not be reached for comment Monday.
Rossi's preliminary hearing on the receiving stolen property charge is scheduled March 22 before North Huntingdon District Judge Wayne Gongaware.
Paul Peirce is a reporter for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 724-850-2860 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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