More charges filed

December 4, 2012

A Washington man arrested Friday for allegedly trying to break into a automated teller machine now faces more charges after he and his girlfriend reportedly stole money from Walmart, Trinity Point, while she was working at the store.

David James Lewis, 23, of 55 W. Katherine Ave., and Amanda D. Sonson, 23, of 421 E. Wheeling St., Washington, were each charged by South Strabane Township police with theft and criminal conspiracy.

Township police Detective Ken Torboli said that Lewis would use his bank card in a transaction and request $20 in cash back. Sonson instead would allegedly give him anywhere from $50 to $200, he added.

Police were contacted by a loss prevention officer for the store on Nov. 1. Store personnel had conducted an investigation and determined Sonson was involved in a series of thefts while working the cash register. Lewis would purchase an inexpensive item and then select the cash back option. She would then give him the additional cash above what he requested, police said.

An audit of her register by Walmart revealed the missing cash amounts. Video surveillance also confirmed the findings.

The alleged thefts reportedly happened in 15 transactions at the store. The loss to Walmart was $2,340.

Sonson told police that she and Lewis needed the cash because they were having problems paying the bills.

Lewis was arrested by Washington police after they reportedly caught him using a knife to try and break into the ATM at First Niagara Bank, West Beau Street. While processing him, police learned he also allegedly broke into machines at the East Maiden Street Car Wash.

He was scheduled be arraigned today via video from the Washington County Jail before District Judge Jay Weller on the new charges filed by South Strabane police. He has been in jail on $15,000 bond since his arrest. The charges against Sonson will be sent by summons.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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