A man from McMurray was jailed after he allegedly broke into a Peters Township home in early January. The man is accused of stealing guns, electronics, power tools, and more than $7000 in jewelry.
The man, identified as Noah Aloysius Farkas, age 27, of 123 Elm Grove Drive, was allegedly seen by several of the neighbors as he walked around his street, as well as Maplewood Drive and Thompsonville Road on January 4.
Between 8 AM and 3:30 PM that day, one of the homes on Thompsonville Road was burglarized. According to police, Farkas allegedly stole a gun safe and two handguns, along with $7375 in jewelry from that home. He also allegedly stole $950 in cash and gift cards, $2650 worth of electronics, power tools, and numerous video games.
According to police, Farkas sold a portion of the jewelry to a pawnshop in Pittsburgh. The victims were able to identify the items.
At that time, police searched Farkas's residence and found some of the other items that had come up missing.
Farkas faces charges of burglary, theft, and receiving stolen property. He was brought before District Judge Jesse Pettit on Tuesday for an arraignment, and jailed on $100,000 bond.
It’s hard to say what will happen in this case. Burglary is a felony, and since Mr. Farkas broke into someone’s home, that makes it a first-degree felony. I don’t know if anyone was home at the time of the theft, though given that it happened during the day, the place was likely empty of residents. That doesn’t make a difference, though. Regardless of the occupation of the home at the time of the crime, the burglary is a first-degree felony. If he is convicted, Farkas could pay fines of up to $25,000 and spend as many as 20 years in prison.
The theft and receiving stolen property charges are very similar, with the latter being a method of the former. It’s not unusual for police to file multiple charges against a person, in the hopes that something sticks. Consequences for the charges vary, and given the high dollar value of the stolen items, I can see these charges also being felonies, though the potential jail time for theft is not as long as for burglary.
It may seem like Mr. Farkas’ goose is cooked, but a motivated attorney with experience will be able to identify ways to get the charges reduced or dismissed. For example, what proof do prosecutors have that Farkas is the one who stole the stuff? Sure, he took it to the pawn shop, apparently, but that doesn’t mean he did the stealing. And, who said the guy at the pawn shop correctly identified Farkas as the person who brought the jewelry in, anyway? Even if the case should go to trial, a good attorney can raise reasonable doubt in the jury, which will lead to a not guilty verdict or a dismissal of charges. Of course, a plea deal might be reached before the case gets to trial. In any case, Mr. Farkas has a long row to hoe before this is all over with.Update: February 2019
Two more men have been charged with this crime, along with Noah Farkas. His father, Lawrence N. Farkas, age 68, and Noah’s brother, Benjamin Farkas, age 23, were arrested following a search of their house.
During the search, police found some of the items stolen in January, and some items stolen in a pair of robberies in 2015. The elder Farkas, along with Benjamin, was stopped in his car by police on January 31st, at which time stolen items were found in the vehicle. This stop is what prompted the police to ask a judge for a search warrant for the home.
A second search revealed additional items, as well as drug paraphernalia. The trio was charged after that search with receiving stolen property.