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Crime spree nets Hopwood man lengthy sentence |

Crime spree nets Hopwood man lengthy sentence

A Fayette County man accused of robbing a bank during a four-day crime spree was sentenced Friday to up to 23 years in prison.

Judge Joseph George Jr. imposed the sentence of 11 12 to 23 years on David Leslie Klippi Jr., 39, of Hopwood in accordance with a plea bargain.

Klippi pleaded guilty to four counts each of robbery and theft, two counts each of simple assault and receiving stolen property and one count each of theft of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest, access-device fraud and driving on a suspended license.

He declined to comment prior to sentencing.

Police said the crime spree began July 4 on Connellsville Street in Uniontown, where Klippi stole a Chevrolet Impala and drove it to a Kmart store in South Union, where he tried unsuccessfully to use the car owner’s bank card to buy two televisions for $700.

He then drove to a Dairy Queen in South Union, where he told an employee that he had a gun and handed her a note that read, “Give me all the money, I’m desperate,” police said.

Klippi fled in the stolen car with $64, but another employee ran outside and obtained the vehicle’s license registration, police said.

On July 5, Klippi drove the Impala to an Exxon station on Pittsburgh Street in North Union, told an employee that he had a gun and fled with $80, police said. About 12 hours later, at 3 p.m., he took a woman’s car, groceries, purse and cash, police said.

On July 7, Klippi went to a car dealership in Connellsville, Tri-State Preowned, where he asked for the keys to a 2005 Volks-wagen Jetta so he could take it for a test drive, police said. An employee told police that he gave Klippi the keys, went back into the dealership and then “looked out to see Klippi fleeing” in the Jetta.

Klippi drove the car to the PNC Bank on Synergy Drive in Uniontown, where he passed a note to a teller that read, “Give money.” Klippi got $1,135, including $500 in “bait money,” police said in a criminal complaint.

When police released photos from the Dairy Queen and PNC Bank robberies, they received tips identifying Klippi as the suspect. A tipster told police that Klippi, who was wanted for a parole violation, was staying at a Youngstown Road apartment complex.

Four troopers who went to the North Union address saw him standing in a doorway, according to police.

Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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