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Four men face criminal charges of stealing lawyer's safe

Four men are facing criminal charges in Lackawanna County Court in a case that could serve as the plot for a classic heist movie. The burglary at issue occurred in early December 2013, but the case went cold in March 2014 as police could not find any suspects. In February 2015, a police officer from a neighboring town called with a tip that helped crack the case.

The crime was first discovered by the office building's maintenance manager. The burglars had stolen a safe from the office of an attorney who was a tenant in the building. Detectives found a surveillance tape that showed people loading the safe onto a pickup truck, but they could not identify the suspects. After languishing for a year, the investigation was re-opened in February of this year when a detective with the Taylor Police Department said that he had interviewed a suspect in another case who knew about the theft of the safe, information that only one of the thieves could have known. This information led police to three other men who were arrested and, along with the person who admitted knowing about the crime, were charged with burglary and other theft-related crimes.

The men are charged with taking the safe to the home of one of the men, where it was forced open. The men took the money and hid the documents. According to the police description of the crime, the men played differing roles. One furnished a key to the building, one provided the truck, and another opened the safe. All four pushed the safe into the pickup truck. Three of the men are scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 21; the fourth man waived the preliminary hearing and will be arraigned on May 22.

Because of their differing roles in the burglary, the men may face different charges with different penalties. The best course of action in this case and similar cases is for each defendant to retain his own attorney and not share an attorney for one of the other defendants. In this way, each defendant is assured of obtaining an independent evaluation of the case, of potential outcomes and the chances of acquittal.

Source: Scranton Times-Tribune, "Four charged for 2013 Bank Towers safe heist," Joseph Kohut,

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