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Pa. women charged in thefts waive arraignments

February 09, 2005|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Three Chambersburg women charged with following delivery trucks and stealing packages from doorsteps in Chambersburg and Greene Township before Christmas waived their preliminary arraignments Tuesday in Franklin County Central Court.

Karen L. Beam, 48, of 815 S. Fifth St., is charged with 43 counts each of theft and receiving stolen property and 15 counts of criminal conspiracy by Pennsylvania State Police and Chambersburg police, according to court records. Her mother, Vonnie Stopyra, 65, of the same address, is charged with six counts each of theft criminal conspiracy and receiving stolen property and Cindy Lee Hykes, 32, of 402 Martina Drive is charged with 16 counts of receiving stolen property, 15 counts of theft and 14 counts of criminal conspiracy.

The women are scheduled for mandatory arraignment in March, according to District Attorney John F. Nelson.

The women are charged with stealing items worth more than $10,000 between Oct. 28 and Dec. 8, the date on which witnesses reported to police seeing two women taking packages from doorsteps in the borough's North End, according to the affidavits of probable cause.

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Chambersburg police listed 28 victims in the borough and state police charged them with thefts from 15 homes in Greene Township, according to court records. Police allege that Beam, accompanied at various times by her mother and Hykes, followed UPS, FedEx and U.S. Postal Service trucks and took the packages after drivers dropped them off.

Much of the stolen merchandise was recovered after police interviewed the women, but about $5,600 in restitution remains to be made to the victims, according to court documents.

In dollar value, the most expensive items stolen were 21 Celtic gold rings worth $5,370 taken from a home on Oct. 28, according to borough police. Other items included coffee mugs, salt and pepper shakers, ice cream makers and clothing ranging in value from about $10 to a few hundred dollars, police said.

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