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Man accused in safe theft, guilty in unrelated case

June 21, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A Martinsburg man accused of helping to steal a safe with more than $1.57 million in valuables from Mercersburg, Pa., pleaded guilty Wednesday to petit larceny in an unrelated case.

John Bigiarelli, 23, of 1568 Rock Cliff Drive, had been facing one count of burglary, a felony, in connection with the theft of firearms and other items from an Inwood, W.Va., house in May.

In Berkeley County Magistrate Court on Wednesday, Bigiarelli pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of petit larceny instead.

Magistrate Harold E. Darlington sentenced Bigiarelli to 180 days in jail, but suspended the term.

Bigiarelli was put on probation for one year and was ordered to pay for the stolen items, up to $1,600. He will also have to undergo drug rehabilitation treatment, according to Darlington.

State Police allege that Bigiarelli broke into a house on Maplewood Drive and stole 14 firearms, then tried to sell 11 of them to someone for $2,000. Other items from the house were sold to a Martinsburg pawn shop, police alleged.

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Bigiarelli is one of seven men charged in connection with the theft of a safe in Pennsylvania in March.

The safe, which belonged to a retired funeral director, contained a lifetime accumulation of cash, jewelry, stocks, certificates of deposit and other papers, according to police.

Pennsylvania State Police have charged Bigiarelli with theft and receiving stolen property. They allege he drove the safe in his truck from Franklin County to Berkeley County.

Charges are pending against five other people in Pennsylvania. A seventh man is accused of accepting money to cut the safe open in Berkeley County and is charged with receiving stolen property.

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