Father and son charged in theft case

March 20, 2014
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Larry Lee Black
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Joseph Matthew Black

WAYNESBURG – A father and son are charged with multiple theft-related charges for an incident February 20 at Strad Energy, 116 Baker Drive,Waynesburg.

A criminal complaint was filed this week before Greene County Magisterial District Judge Glenn Bates against Larry Lee Black, 51, and his son, Joseph Matthew Black, 24, both of 379 Woodies Road, Waynesburg.

According to state police, a witness, Edward Joseph Passamonte, was working at Pioneer Energy Services a few hundred feet from Strad Energy when he allegedly saw Joseph Black pull up in a vehicle to a locked gate at Strad Energy and turn off the headlights .

Passamonte told Trooper John Pash he waited a minute and then drove past Black’s unoccupied vehicle. Passamonte said he drove a couple hundred feet and turned around. Driving back toward Black’s vehicle, he allegedly saw Joseph Black and Larry Black climbing over the fence from inside Strad Energy. He said he saw the Black’s jump into their vehicle and he pulled in front of it. Joseph Black allegedly hit his accelerator and struck the front of Passamonte’s Ford F-150 truck.

According to the criminal complaint, Joseph Black then backed up and drove through one gate at Strad Energy, turned his vehicle around in a parking area and exited through another gate, knocking it off the hinges and bending it. Passamonte called 911 to report a hit-and-run accident while following Black’s vehicle from Strad Energy to an area just west of Greene County Country Club.

Pash said Black’s vehicle passed him near the country club traveling at a high speed and according to the complaint, Pash pursued Black’s vehicle onto Route 188 toward Jefferson and onto Homeville Road. Pash stopped the vehicle and said Joseph Black was operating the vehicle and Larry Black was a passenger.

The Blacks were taken into custody and Pash said he observed a pair of wire cutters on the back seat of the vehicle.

Joseph Black told Pash he and his father went to Strad Energy, backed up to the gate and turned off the headlights. Joseph Black said their intention was to steal copper wire but never got the opportunity. He said when he saw Passamonte’s truck he yelled to his father, “let’s get out of here,” and Larry Black jumped into the car.

Both of the Blacks are charged with theft by unlawful taking, conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking, and possession of an instrument of crime with intent. Joseph Black additional charges of recklessly endangering another person and criminal mischief. Larry Black also has two summary charges against him.

Tara Kinsell started her career in journalism with the National Geographic Insider Magazine and the Gaithersburg Gazette Newspaper in Montgomery County, Md. Tara has written and photographed sports, features and news stories for the Herald Standard, Greene County Messenger and Albert Gallatin Weekly. She holds degrees in journalism and graphic design from Waynesburg College, now Waynesburg University, and the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, respectively.

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