The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

January 21, 2013

Police apprehend car-theft suspect

David Hurst

JOHNSTOWN — A Johnstown man was jailed Monday on charges that he was part of a two-man car theft operation.

Richland Township police alleged that Devine Stephen Edwards, 18, of Stackhouse Street, stole two cars in early December from parking lots along Scalp Avenue.

Richland Detective Kevin Gaudlip said that Edwards and his alleged partner, Kevin Plummer, 47, of G Street in Johnstown, may be behind as many as six car heists.

Edwards was arraigned Monday morning before Richland District Judge Max Pavlovich on two sets of theft-related charges.

Edwards was found hiding under a bed in a Moxham home, said Johnstown Patrolman William Slisz, noting a felony warrant had been issued for the suspect in December.

He is accused of entering two unlocked cars and using keys left inside to drive away with the vehicles. On Dec. 7, Edwards took a 2002 Saturn from a lot near Wolf’s Furniture, police said, and three days later, he stole a 2001 Honda Accord from the Richland Shopping Center.

Police said Plummer and Edwards tried unsuccessfully to sell the Honda to a Greensburg area buyer.

The Saturn was discovered burned and discarded near Mountain Road in Lower Yoder Township, Gaudlip wrote in an affidavit.

Plummer was arrested Dec. 12 after police said he initiated a high-speed chase in a stolen Pontiac. The chase ended in the city’s West End after the Pontiac struck a police cruiser.

Court documents show that Plummer has an arrest record dating back to 1988 related to thefts and that he was sentenced to serve 15 to 60 months in jail for vehicle theft in 2007.

Edwards faces felony counts of theft by unlawful taking, conspiracy to theft, receiving stolen property and other charges in both cases.

Edwards was sent to Cambria County Prison after failing to post separate $15,000 bonds in the two cases.

Two Johnstown women were charged Monday with hiding Edwards from police.

City police said Tracy Irene Leary, 34, of Cypress Avenue, and Alexandria Eliza Hilton, of Solomon Homes, tried to mislead officers about Edwards’ whereabouts Monday, but police found him after searching the home.

Both were charged with hindering apprehension and other counts. Leary posted her $3,000 bail. Hilton was lodged in the county prison after failing to post the same amount.

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