Altoona police said they have linked man who called police to report he was ripped off in a marijuana deal to another theft.
Brandon P. McConnell, 24, of 130 Sixth Ave., Apt. 4, called Altoona police Nov. 22 to report paying for a bag of pot he never received, and after police took his statement, officers recognized McConnell as a man depicted in video surveillance footage using a stolen credit card to buy cigarettes, according to Altoona police.
"He called us to say he gave a guy $70 to buy weed and was ripped off," said Altoona Police Detective Troy Wright, who filed charges against McConnell on Nov. 26 alleging McConnell took the card from a wallet he stole out of a car on the 2100 block of Eighth Avenue the same day he called police about the pot deal.
Police said McConnell used the card to buy $155 worth of cigarettes and soda from two city stores, according to his arrest papers in that incident.
McConnell, who had been free on $5,000 bail on theft, forgery and receiving stolen property charges stemming from the credit card allegations, was arrested again Friday on felony and misdemeanor theft, forgery and fraud-related charges stemming from the theft of $45,000 worth of items from a pickup truck parked along Sixth Avenue Alley, according to police.
Along with stealing the items sometime between Nov. 8 and Nov. 10 that included a computer, two "fiber and network interface test platforms" valued at $21,885 apiece, a GPS, Oakley sunglasses and $68 in lottery tickets, McConnell also is accused of taking and using two credit cards to buy $333.91 worth of merchandise at two convenience stores, according to the affidavit of probable cause.
Police said McConnell confessed to stealing from the truck during an interview with police Thursday. McConnell allegedly told investigators he threw most of the items away but sold a Samsung digital camera to a local pawn shop for $10.
McConnell, who pleaded guilty in another theft case Nov. 20 and was put on probation for a year, was placed in Blair County Prison on Friday in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. The Blair County Adult Probation and Parole Office also filed a detainer on McConnell, and he is due to appear before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Auker on Wednesday at Central Court.