The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

July 2, 2013

State in Brief | Redial leads to suspect’s arrest

ALTOONA — Police say a suspect’s phone call from a convenience store telephone helped them to charge him with stealing $142 worth of change from the business.

The Altoona Mirror reported that 32-year-old Jason Comer of Pittsburgh, has been charged with theft Saturday afternoon at a Sheetz store in Logan Township.

A clerk told police that a man asked to use the phone because he was out of gas before grabbing a change dispenser attached to the store’s cash registers. Police used the phone’s redial button and the woman who answered the call told the officer that Comer had just called her.

Police also identified Comer from surveillance video and found him nearby, waiting for a tow truck.

Constable accused of theft

PITTSBURGH – A state constable has been charged with stealing more than $2,700 by billing the county for nearly 150 arrest warrants that were never served.

Online court records don’t list an attorney for 49-year-old Constable Timothy Dzugan of Tarentum.

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office said a district judge in Harrison Township stopped using Dzugan to serve warrants after she noticed irregularities in a case last year. That led the judge’s staff to review a list of warrants and invoices that Dzugan submitted to the county for payment.

That DA’s office said the review determined that all but three of the 150 warrants reviewed had been recalled, cancelled or previously paid in full.

State looking to sell armories

HARRISBURG – The state is looking for buyers for 11 former Pennsylvania National Guard armories and a former firing range as part of a statewide effort to unload obsolete but historically significant facilities that taxpayers pay to maintain.

Legislation authorizing the sale of the dozen properties, as well as already-begun conveyances of several other guard facilities to new owners including municipal agencies and nonprofit groups, was unanimously approved in both chambers of the General Assembly.

The armories were primarily used for training Guard units and have been displaced by more modern facilities. The parcels being offered for sale include Scranton’s castle-like, 60,000-square-foot Watres armory and large armories in Altoona and Lancaster. The others are in Blair, Centre, Columbia, Elk, Franklin, Huntingdon, McKean and Northumberland counties. A weekend training site in Elk County that was used mainly for target practice also is in the group.

“We had no military mission for those facilities anymore,” said Mark Austin, deputy secretary for facilities and engineering in the state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.

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