Mom, son charged in burglary

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A North Strabane Township mother and her son have been arrested on accusations they broke into their neighbor’s residence and stole nearly $50,000 in gold jewelry.


Nicholas R. Cessna, 21, of 57 Hothouse Lane, is in the Washington County jail following his arrest Monday by North Strabane police on charges of burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy, court records show. He is being held on $70,000 bond set by District Judge Jay Weller.


His mother, Pamela Cessna, 53, of the same address, faces identical charges and is free after posting $50,000 bond, court records indicate.


Police accuse the Cessnas of forcing open a rear kitchen window Dec. 8 to enter the 48 Hothouse Lane residence of Rene Hudock.


Hudock summoned police to her home about 7 p.m. that day to report the burglary, telling police 50 gold rings, 40 gold chains, 40 gold bracelets and various earrings were stolen from her bedroom. She also said $200 had been stolen from a locked office in the residence, police stated in the affidavit.


Police later interviewed an acquaintance of the Cessnas, Robert Banefield, who divulged information pertaining to the burglary, the record shows.


Banefield said he had accompanied Pamela and Nicholas Cessna on at least four occasions to Atlantic Gold Exchange on McKnight Road in Pittsburgh to trade gold jewelry for cash, including a visit Dec. 11 when the pair received $2,000 for some of the items.


Banefield also said he overheard Nicholas Cessna say to his mother, “We don’t need to do any illegal activities for a while because we had a big score,” police stated in the affidavit.


Police later determined other items owned by Hudock had been exchanged for money at a Gold Buyers Store.


They also charged Nicholas Cessna with possession of drug paraphernalia after allegedly seizing a crack pipe from him Monday when served with the arrest warrant. He also is jailed on a prior arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, the jail docket shows.


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