Adams Township police put the squeeze on a repeat shoplifter suspected of stealing 20 boxes of toothpaste from a drugstore.
Richard J. Bisceglia, 37, of Pittsburgh, is facing a felony count of retail theft and other charges in the incident last week at the Rite Aid on Seven Fields Boulevard.
Adams Township police said they were notified of the theft around 4:50 p.m. Oct. 6. The thief left with 20 boxes of Sensodyne toothpaste, worth $145.80, that he stuffed into a red bag.
Employees were able to get the license plate number of the suspected getaway car, which helped lead to Bisceglia's identification, police said.
Store surveillance captured the defendant on video walking into the store and leaving with the red bag full of items without paying for the merchandise, according to charging documents.
Police later contacted the suspect by telephone. They said he admitted to wrongdoing.
“Bisceglia advised me he is guilty,” documents said, “made a stupid mistake, and stole the toothpaste. He stated numerous times he was lazy, and didn't have the money.”
He allegedly told police that he put the toothpaste into a plastic bag and covered the bag with a sweat shirt before walking out of the store.
Police noted in their criminal complaint that Bisceglia has six prior shoplifting convictions.
Normally a summary or misdemeanor offense, retail theft in Pennsylvania is upgraded to a third-degree felony regardless of the stolen property's value when a defendant has at least two prior convictions for the same crime.
District Judge Wayne Seibel issued an arrest warrant for him on the felony retail theft charge as well as a misdemeanor charge of possession of an instrument of crime, which police identified as the red bag.
Additionally, he is charged with driving with a suspended license, a summary.