A Charleroi man is in Washington County jail after he was caught Wednesday night behind the wheel of a car that had been reported stolen hours earlier from the borough’s mayor in downtown Charleroi.
Frank G. Green, 46, of 520 Highland Ave., was spotted driving the 2006 Ford Focus owned by Nancy Ellis east on Interstate 70 near the Ginger Hill exit in Somerset Township by Trooper Melinda Brandt.
Charleroi police Chief Mike Matyas said Thursday the car was stolen from in front of a coin laundry on First Street about noon Wednesday. Matyas said Ellis had gotten out of her car to take some items inside. When she came back out, the car was gone. Matyas said the keys were in the vehicle but the engine was not running.
Matyas said borough police know Green and have had several contacts with him.
Green was stopped by police in the parking lot of the Pilot Truck Stop in Bentleyville. After Brandt determined the car had been stolen, Green told the trooper he had borrowed the car earlier that afternoon from a friend named “Matty” so he could drive to Washington. He claimed to have no idea it was stolen.
Bags of items that had been apparently stolen from stores in the area were also found in the car. The items included hoagies, DVDs, baseball jerseys and hats. Brandt is checking video surveillance at the stores before filing retail theft charges against Green.
A telephone number listed for Ellis was no longer in service Thursday.
Green was arraigned before District Judge Robert Redlinger on the charges of receiving stolen property and driving without a license filed by state police. He was placed in jail on $5,000 bond. Charleroi police expected to file theft charges against Green in the next several days at the office of District Judge Larry Hopkins.
A preliminary hearing on the receiving stolen property charge is set for Sept. 19 before District Judge Curtis Thompson.