Latrobe man gets 14 years for stealing $50,000 worth of jewelry from homes
A Latrobe man will serve up to 14 years in prison for his role in a jewelry-stealing spree through five Latrobe homes last year.
Mark A. Stout, 36, pleaded guilty Wednesday to the burglaries in which he and his girlfriend were accused of breaking into city homes and walking off with cash, jewelry, guns and other property valued at more than $50,000.
Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Tim Krieger approved a plea bargain for Stout, but rejected a proposed deal for his girlfriend, Calie Ann Rafferty, which would have required her to serve up to three years in prison.
Police said Stout and Rafferty searched out homes in the northern end of the city during daytime hours when nobody was at those residences.
Pamela Korchok said she found the front door of her home forced open and discovered several pieces of jewelry, some with value far beyond their worth, had been taken.
“It terrified me,” Korchok said in court on Wednesday. “Some of those items I lost I was given when I was a kid, and they can never be replaced.”
Stout, who had a lengthy prior criminal record, pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and conspiracy charges. Krieger sentenced him to serve seven to 14 years in prison.
Rafferty, 42, was set to plead guilty to identical charges in return for a jail term of 15 months to three years. The judge refused to accept the deal, saying the proposed sentence was not long enough.
Defense attorney Jim Robinson argued that Rafferty, who had no prior criminal record was not as culpable as Stout for the burglaries. Robinson said Rafferty spiraled out of control after she became addicted to drugs at Stout’s urging.
“She was very much doing what Mr. Stout said,” Robinson said.
Assistant District Attorney Rebecca Calisti said the plea offer to Rafferty was based on her clean criminal record and that additional negotiations will continue in an attempt to resolve the case. A trial date for her has not been scheduled.
“I believe they were both equally responsible for these,” Calisti said.
Police said the couple operated in the Latrobe area during late 2017 and pawned many of the stolen items at shops in Belle Vernon, Monroeville and Charleroi.
In December, police received a tip that some of the stolen items had been pawned in Charleroi. Stout was identified in a surveillance video at the pawn store, according to police.
The couple was later spotted by police as they appeared to canvass homes in Latrobe, according to court records.
A search of their Ligonier Street home in Latrobe found what police said were thousands of pieces of stolen jewelry.
Stout was ordered to repay his victims for the stolen items but a final amount owed still must be determined, Calisti said.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-830-6293 or [email protected].