Three to stand trial for robbing pizza delivery driver

June 5, 2013
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Pictured, from left, are Christopher Pitzarella, Shayne Coffield and Michael Steinstraw
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Stienstraw Jr.
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A delivery driver for a Washington pizza shop on Wednesday recalled thinking, “Oh no, not again” when he realized he was again being robbed.

Michael Stienstraw, 26, of Claysville, was ordered to stand trial by District Judge Mark Wilson on charges of robbery, conspiracy, theft, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm filed by South Strabane Township police in the March 9 robbery of Four Star delivery driver Kenneth Hesse.

His alleged co-defendants, Christopher Pitzarella, 23, and Shayne Charles Coffield, 23, both of Washington, waived their cases to court. Pitzarella also testified against Stienstraw.

Hesse testified that he had just finished delivering a hoagie to a home on East Maiden Street when he saw two people walking along the street. He recalled thinking it was odd because there are not many homes in that area.

“I was halfway to my car when I saw them crossing the street, and I knew something was wrong,” Hesse said. “Then one of them pulled a gun, and I thought, ‘Crap. Here we go again.’”

Hesse said he had been robbed five times in his 22-year stint with Four Star.

After taking the money and warming bag, Hesse said they ran to a silver car.

“It sounded like the Three Stooges,” Hesse said. “They were hollering at each other and the car stalled out before they pulled away and headed to town.”

Pitzarella testified Stienstraw held the gun on the delivery driver during the robbery. He said Coffield was driving his car and the doors were locked when they tried to get in the vehicle. Pitzarella said they fled on East Maiden and turned onto Sanitarium Road. Township police Detective Ken Torboli testified the warming bag was found off Sanitarium.

Coffield also waived charges filed against him by state police for the Jan. 24 robbery at Isaly’s in Canton Township and by Washington police for the March 27 robbery at the Uni-Mart on East Maiden Street. A charge of attempted homicide for reportedly shooting a clerk at the Uni-Mart was withdrawn as well as firearms violations in that case. Pitzarella previously waived charges against him in the Uni-Mart robbery.

Coffield and Pitzarella remain in the Washington County jail. Stienstraw, who was released on $25,000 unsecured bond in this case, is on house arrest on other charges.

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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