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Man sentenced for stealing safe

October 19, 2000

Man sentenced for stealing safe



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Saying he had already received a break, a Franklin County judge sentenced a West Virginia man to almost two years in county prison for his role in a scheme to steal a safe containing $1.57 million in cash and other valuables in March.

"The Commonwealth dismissed other charges against you in turn for your plea, so you are already have received a break," Franklin County Court of Common Pleas Judge Carol Van Horn said before sentencing John Anthony Bigiarelli, Jr., Wednesday. "That safe sat at your house for four days. You had time to consider your actions."

Bigiarelli must also pay a $250 fine and make restitution of about $245,000 to the owner of the safe and serve five years probation after he is released from prison.

He could have been sentenced for up to seven years at the Franklin County Prison and fined $15,000.

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Bigiarelli apologized to the court for his role in the crime and blamed his actions on his heroin addiction.

Several family members showed up to support Bigiarelli, and his grandmother pleaded with Van Horn to keep him in drug addiction treatment.

Bigiarelli, 21, of 1568 Cliff Drive, Martinsburg, W.Va., pleaded guilty in September to receiving stolen property. In exchange for the plea agreement, third-degree felony charges of theft and criminal conspiracy were dismissed.

Bigiarelli said he was paid $7,000 March 27 to transport the 700-pound safe that had been stolen from the Lininger Funeral Home office at 42 N. Main St., Mercersburg, according to police. The safe contained $208,000 in cash, heirloom jewelry, collectible coins, stocks and other valuables belonging to Frank Lininger and members of his family, according to court records.

Pennsylvania State Police have charged five other men in connection with the theft and another faces charges in West Virginia.

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