timesleader.com

Truck-theft suspect gets probation in PFA case

Roger DuPuis rdupuis@timesleader.com

October 17, 2013

WILKES-BARRE — A West Side teen facing charges in the theft of a PennDOT truck and other vehicles was sentenced to one year of probation Thursday in connection with an unrelated case in which he violated a protection from abuse order.


Thomas McCue Jr., 19, admitted to making contact with an ex-girlfriend against a court order.


Judge Tina Polachek Gartley sentenced McCue to two consecutive six-month probation terms, cautioning him not to have any contact with the female or her family.


The judge said that before McCue can be released on probation, he will have to establish a fixed address that probation officials can verify. Court documents have variously listed him as a resident of Plymouth and Edwardsville.


But McCue on Thursday morning had yet to post $35,000 bail in connection with his alleged Luzerne County theft cases, and is subject to a further $10,000 bail in a Monroe County case, according to court documents.


“I’m the least of your concerns,” Gartley told him.


In the early hours of Sept. 29, McCue allegedly stole a Pennsylvania Department of Transportation dump truck from a PennDOT road material stockpile yard on Route 423 near Tobyhanna.


Pocono Mountain Regional Police found a late-model white sedan with the keys in the ignition parked on Route 423 near the yard, and learned the car had been stolen from Larksville at about 11 the previous night.


The PennDOT vehicle was spotted about 40 miles away on the morning of Sept. 29, when neighbors called 911 at about 9:15 a.m. to report that a truck had struck a power pole at Grove and Broad streets in Kingston, then drove off. The truck was located about six hours later at a shopping center in Pringle, police said.


McCue was taken into custody the following afternoon, after police said they stopped him in a parking lot of the Hilltop Apartments, 504 Roosevelt St., Edwardsville, while driving a red 2003 Ford Contour that had been reported stolen from Dupont.


Police said McCue told them “he got the vehicle from some place in Dupont.”


McCue had denied stealing any vehicles when approached by reporters as he was led away from the Edwardsville Municipal Building following his arrest.


He has been charged in Luzerne County with receiving stolen property, theft and driving while his operating privileges were suspended or revoked, and in Monroe County with theft, receiving stolen property and two counts of criminal mischief.


Formal arraignment in Luzerne County is set for 9 a.m. Jan. 3. McCue’s preliminary hearing in Monroe County was continued this week, scheduled to resume at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.


In the meanwhile, Gartley reminded McCue to stay away from his ex-girlfriend.


“You are not to have contact with her,” the judge said. “It’s not a healthy relationship.”