A 20-year-old Richland man is charged with going on a crime spree in the Pine-Richland area, breaking into homes and cars to steal thousands of dollars worth of electronics, a gun, cash and other items to support his drug addiction, according to court documents.
Stephen Paul Hudec appeared Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge William K. Wagner for a preliminary hearing, but it was postponed for a week.
He faces 32 charges—nine counts of burglary; 14 counts of theft; two counts of loitering and prowling at night; three counts of receiving stolen property; and four counts of criminal conspiracy.
The burglaries occurred between July and October, police said.
Six burglaries occurred near Hudec's Elgro Road residence in Richland Township—three on Richland Road and one each on Elgro, Ben Miller and Shepard roads, according to the criminal complaint.
In addition, he is charged with burglarizing Richland homes on Woodhill Road and James Lane as well as a Pine home on Summit Circle.
Hudec also faces 39 charges in Hampton Township for burglary; theft; loitering and prowling; receiving stolen property; criminal trespass; criminal attempt-burglary; and conspiracy. His preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Suzanne Blaschak is set for Jan. 23.
Northern Regional Police worked in conjunction with Hampton Township police to investigate burglaries and vehicle break-ins within the Pine-Richland and Hampton communities.
Hampton Detective Rob Kirsopp conducted interviews with Hudec, who admitted to crimes within those communities, according to the criminal complaint.
Northern Regional Police Officer Scott Rick interviewed Hudec on Oct. 22, the complaint states.
“Hudec admitted to being involved in numerous residential burglaries and vehicle break-ins during the course of several months to pay for drug dependency problem,” the complaint states.
“Hudec would either pawn items at different pawn shops, sell items on the streets of Pittsburgh or trade items for drugs,” court documents state.
Stolen items included an Apple Macbook, iPods, iPads, X-Boxes, GPS units, prescription glasses, Oakley sunglasses, gift cards, cameras and chainsaws, the complaint states.
Because of the large number of crimes and time frame, Hudec agreed to being driven around by Northern Regional’s Officer Rick and Hampton Detective Kirsopp to point out burglarized residences, according to the criminal complaint.
Hudec admitted to entering homes through unlocked doors, sometimes while the residents were home, the complaint states.
He also admitted to entering numerous vehicles on Woodhill Drive, Valleyvue Drive, Summit Circle, Whetherburn Drive, Heights Drive, Fairview Drive, Richland Road, Salem Heights, Tartan Road, Hamilton Road, Shepard Road and Ben Miller Road, court documents show.
Hudec is charged with burglarizing an Elgro Road home in September with co-defendant Tyler Gazdik, of Gibsonia, the complaint states.
As Gazdik talked with the homeowner outside, Hudek entered the home through a rear basement window, court documents show. The homeowner told police she did not find money or jewelry missing, but she did notice items in the basement had been moved, according to the complaint.
Hudek also told police he took an X-Box, accessories and games; a box of alcohol; a chainsaw and cash from a Ben Miller Road residence while the residents slept and Gazdik was the lookout, the complaint states.
Hudek faces four felony charges of conspiring with Gazdik, who also is charged burglary, conspiracy, theft, loitering and prowling at nighttime in the Hampton and Pine-Richland areas.
When Hudek attempted to burglarize a Richland Road home in mid-July by entering through an unlocked basement door, he was confronted by the homeowner who scared him out of the house, court documents show.
While riding with police, Hudec admitted to having stolen items in his home that he wanted to give to police, court documents state. A chainsaw and cameras were recovered, police said.
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