The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 24, 2013

Holdup suspect waives hearing

Patrick Buchnowski
pbuchnowski@tribdem.com

— A man accused of robbing a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint waived his preliminary hearing on Wednesday before magistrate Leonard Grecek of Roxbury.

Johnstown police charged Arthur Paul Stiffler, 19, with robbery, receiving stolen property and reckless endangerment in connection with the April 2 incident.

Cambria County Public Defender Richard Messina said his client doesn’t recall the event because he was high on drugs.

“Mr. Stiffler was under the influence of narcotics the night of the event,” Messina said. “He doesn’t recall the robbery. He doesn’t know if he did or didn’t do it.”

Police allege that Stiffler made a bogus call for a pizza. When the driver arrived at the home in the 500 block of Cypress Avenue, he allegedly pulled a gun and said: “Give me everything you have.”

Stiffler, who police say wore a mask partially covering his face, allegedly ran off with $39 and a cellphone. No one was injured.

Authorities are troubled by the increasing gun play in the city’s Moxham section.

“This is a clear example of the escalating gun violence that we’re seeing in Moxham,” Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan said. “As prosecutors, we are taking a hard line in cases where weapons are being used and victims threatened.”

Stiffler is cooperating with police. He turned over a weapon that was found to be a BB gun.

“But clearly when you see the photos of this BB gun, the average person would never know if it was a BB gun or an actual handgun,” Callihan said.

Stiffler, of the 800 block of Von Lunen Road, is seeking drug and alcohol treatment, Messina said.

Police recovered the cellphone but not the money, Callihan said.

Stiffler was returned to the Cambria County Prison, where he is being held on $20,000 bond.

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