N. Franklin police charge two men with theft

March 12, 2014
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From left, Alfonso J. Serra and Robert S. Vojvodich
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Two West Virginia men were arrested Tuesday night by North Franklin Township police after allegedly stealing a combination mixer, pasta roller and cutter they planned to exchange for drugs.

Alfonso J. Serra, 36, and Robert S. Vojvodich, 43, both of Weirton, are accused of stealing the KitchenAid mixer from Macy’s, Washington Crown Center.

Sgt. Jerry Cavanaugh said the two men were reportedly spotted earlier by store employees selecting items and placing them in a pile in the store. The two men left after noticing they were being watched by store personnel.

Serra then returned to the store and took the mixer, police said. As he was leaving the store, Cavanaugh said Serra got into a scuffle with store security.

Police said he then got into Vojvodich’s vehicle, and they fled from the mall lot. A mall security officer spotted the vehicle and was able to get a license plate number.

Vojvodich turned south on Franklin Farms Road. Cavanaugh, who was driving north, spotted the van. The sergeant turned his cruiser around and stopped the vehicle.

Cavanaugh said both men have extensive criminal histories. Serra was arrested in Maryland and West Virginia, while Vojvodich has been arrested in Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland.

“They said they came here to a get a mixer that their drug dealer’s wife wanted,” Cavanaugh said. “They were going to exchange the mixer for heroin.”

Both men were arraigned before District Judge Larry Hopkins. Serra is charged with retail theft, conspiracy, simple assault and disorderly conduct. Vojvodich is charged with retail theft, conspiracy, disorderly conduct and driving with a suspended license. Both were placed in Washington County jail on $35,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for March 25 before District Judge Robert Redlinger.

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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