Tip from video leads to arrest

October 9, 2019 Cranberry Local News

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Sabrina Eisenberg

CRANBERRY TWP — A tip that came after township police posted surveillance video to the department's Facebook page led them to arrest a Pittsburgh woman for retail theft.

They did so while she was allegedly in the act of committing additional thefts.

Sabrina L. Eisenberg, 46, of Pittsburgh, is being held on $15,000 bond.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, officers received a call Sept. 27 with an anonymous tip related to a Facebook post the department had made earlier in the week.

In that post, the department posted photos from surveillance cameras showing a woman who was believed to have stolen hospital scrubs from a local business. That incident was said to have taken place Sept. 22, and the post asked for anyone with information to contact the department. It was shared more than 200 times.

The anonymous caller reported seeing the woman around 5:54 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Cranberry Mall in a black truck. The woman, identified as Eisenberg, was sitting in the passenger's seat. She allegedly gave police an identification with a different name, documents state.

Police searched Eisenberg, and allegedly found a hypodermic needle and a glass “crack pipe.” A search of her vehicle allegedly turned up stolen merchandise from Hallmark and Ulta Beauty totaling $479.63.

Eisenberg is charged with felony retail theft as well as misdemeanor receiving stolen property, giving false identification and use/possession of drug paraphernalia. The complaint notes that Eisenberg has three prior retail theft convictions. Court records indicate she has two pending felony retail charges in Allegheny County from an Aug. 18 incident.

According to Sgt. Chuck Mascellino, of the township police department, Eisenberg will likely be charged for the original theft of scrubs.

Mascellino said while the department typically gets a number of responses when posting surveillance photos on social media, a positive identification typically doesn't happen so quickly.

“And the ironic part was she was actually involved in a retail theft at the time of the call,” he said, adding the department was able to recover those items.

He said the department uses social media for cases when they do not have other leads, such as a vehicle description or license plate number. He said in this instance, as with most, several names were given to the department of suspects who looked similar. Often, those tips are not accurate.

“This one worked out very well,” Mascellino said.

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J.W.  Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr.

J.W. Johnson Jr. is the bureau chief of the Cranberry Eagle. Johnson is a native of Bellaire, Ohio, and graduated from Bellaire High School in 2004. He is a 2009 graduate of Ohio University in Athens with a bachelor of specialized studies degree in English and journalism. While there, he served as a reporter and editor at The Post, the university’s student-run, independent newspaper. In 2009, he was hired as a reporter for The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register in Wheeling, W.Va. Over the course of eight years, he also served as Marshall County bureau chief, city editor and news editor. He also won two first place West Virginia Press Association Awards for his reporting and design work. He and his wife, Maureen, live in Carnegie.