Two charged with theft of guns

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Police in Washington County have arrested two men on charges stemming from a burglary earlier this month in which several handguns were taken from a sporting goods store.

Michael Andrew Mittell, 20, and Steven William Parks, 19, both of Peters, were arrested Wednesday in connection with the Nov. 16 break-in at Ace Sporting Goods in South Strabane.

Police said Mr. Parks entered the store on Washington Road by slipping through a roof vent, but then fell to the floor two stories below.

A blue welding glove was left behind in the store. Investigators identified the two men as suspects after receiving a number of tips from the public and tracing the glove to Mr. Parks, who trained as a welder with a Steamfitters union local, South Strabane Detective Ken Torboli said.

Police have charged Mr. Mittell and Mr. Parks with burglary, conspiracy, firearms violations, receiving stolen property, loitering and prowling at night. Mr. Parks, who was slightly injured from falling to the floor, also was charged with theft and criminal mischief, Detective Torboli said.

Both men have past convictions for burglaries involving gun thefts, Detective Torboli said. They were arraigned before District Judge Jay Weller and were jailed on $25,000 bond each. Their preliminary hearing is set for Tuesday.


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