Theft suspect caught after chase

December 13, 2013
Robert Wayne Noble

A Washington man already wanted on a felony theft warrant is facing more charges after he allegedly stole a television set from Walmart and then crashed into four vehicles while trying to flee from Trinity Point in South Strabane Township.

Robert Wayne Noble, 49, now also faces four counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count each of retail theft, fleeing or attempting to elude police, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving and driving under suspension.

Noble reportedly stole a 39-inch television from Walmart just before 1 p.m. Friday and then got into his pickup truck.

Township police Sgt. Brad McClay was patrolling the lot when he was flagged down by a Walmart loss-prevention officer who told him the man in the green Toyota truck had just stolen the television from the store.

McClay tried to turn around his cruiser to stop the vehicle when he saw the truck on Trinity Point Circle between Fusion and McDonald’s restaurants. McClay pulled behind the suspect with the lights and sirens activated on his cruiser, but Noble sped up, ran a stop sign and then turned left down the hill in the direction of Route 19, police said.

Police said Noble, stuck in traffic, then intentionally struck four occupied vehicles in an attempt to flee the area, but his truck got stuck between two of the other vehicles.

Noble then allegedly got out of his truck and ran toward Sharp’s Furniture, and police said South Strabane Officer Clay Graham found him in the rear parking lot of the furniture store and took him into custody.

Noble admitted that he has a heroin addiction, police said.

State police obtained a warrant for Noble from District Judge Ethan Ward on a theft charge earlier this month after he allegedly stole several pneumatic power tools, including a drill, saw and lawn mower, from a barn at 367 Hickory Nut Road, Independence Township.

Property owner Scott Guy Smith told police that in early November, two men approached him about hunting on his property. Smith gave the two men, one of whom identified himself as “Bob,” permission to hunt and also told them they could take leftover scrap by the storage shed on the property. Smith said one of the men had a tattoo on his neck with the name “Tammy.”

On Nov. 7, police said several construction workers witnessed the same two men enter the barn and remove the tools, valued at $590. The workers were able to identify Noble as one of the men, police said, and they said the truck he was driving was registered to Tammy Noble of Washington.

Noble was arraigned Friday before District Judge Jay Weller on both sets of charges. Weller set bond at $25,000 for each case, and Noble was placed in Washington County jail. A preliminary hearing on the South Strabane case is set for Dec. 23 before Weller, while the state police case is scheduled for Dec. 27 before Ward.

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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