Police: Two city men tried stealing from nightclub

Two men tried stealing furniture and decorations from an Altoona club.

Barry J. Criste II, 33, of 2312 Fifth Ave. and Mark A. Paule Jr., 29, of 700 Lake Ave., are charged with felony criminal conspiracy and robbery as well as misdemeanor theft-related counts, along with summary harassment, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief charges, after they allegedly tossed chairs and decorations, including two wooden decorative fish, over a fence at Club Coconuts, at 23rd Street and Ninth Avenue.

According to Altoona police, Criste and Paule then fought with employees who confronted the pair in the parking lot as they tried to load the stolen items into their vehicle at 2:21 a.m. Thursday.

Criste allegedly wrestled with an employee while Paule fought with another employee who tried to retrieve the chairs and decorations. Police contend the scuffle with Criste left the employee shaken and with a ripped shirt, and that in the process of tossing the items over the fence and into the parking lot, the pair broke a $100 chair.

After police were called, officers stopped the pair in a Jeep Cherokee. At that point, police said, Criste confessed the two had tried to steal the furniture and decorations.

Both men posted 10 percent of $25,000 bail and are scheduled to appear Wednesday at Central Court for a preliminary hearing.