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Court Cases: Man Ordered to Pay Up or Face Jail

Restitution of $1,200 was supposed to be paid to a theft victim by now.

A Pittsburgh man faces incarceration if he fails to pay the full amount of his restitution.

District Judge Robert Wyda on Monday told Phillip Berta, 27, of Fieldcrest Drivbe that he most likely will go to jail if he fails to reimburse a theft victim the remaining $700 he owes her. The deadline is Berta’s next hearing before Wyda, scheduled for Sept. 10.

According to court records, Berta has paid $500 of the $1,200 Wyda ordered him to pay.

On Dec. 8, an Upper St. Clair resident told police some items were missing from her home, and that “several workmen had been present” at the beginning of the month, according to the police criminal complaint.

Reported taken were an 18-inch gold necklace with a diamond heart-shaped pendant, valued at $1,000, and two plastic coin banks containing about $185.

The investigation began to focus on Berta, the police report states, and he voluntarily arrived at the station on Dec. 13 to discuss the matter. “At that time, Mr. Berta provided a written statement admitting his responsibility in the theft.”

Berta pleaded guilty to summary disorder conduct on April 2 and was ordered to pay restitution within 45 days, according to court records. He had paid $500 by June 4 and was given 45 more days to pay the remainder.

Another theft case resulted in Wyda sentencing a Mt. Lebanon man to time served, after he had been picked up on a warrant and jailed for failing to attend a preliminary hearing.

Russell Schake, 30, was scheduled to appear before Wyda July 2, on charges of stealing $185 worth of merchandise from Sears at South Hills Village in May, according to court records.

Schake was in jail for 15 days after being taken custody. He pleaded guilty to summary retail theft.

Also on Monday, Wyda dismissed the case against a Canonsburg woman who had been charged with stealing $197.97 worth of jewelry and shoes from Sears at South Hills Village in February.

Dana Kiger, 44, completed a Retail Theft Education Program, according to court records.

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