Area Man Accused of Stealing Over $2K in Merchandise, Returning It for Store Credit

| January 20, 2023

BUTLER CO., Pa. (EYT) – An area man was arrested for his alleged involvement in a theft scheme spanning over five Lowe’s stores.

According to a release issued by PSP Butler on Friday, January 20, a search warrant for a pickup truck involved in a theft from a Jefferson Township home uncovered “several thousand dollars worth of tools” obtained from a retail theft fraud scheme throughout five Lowe’s stores in the Greater Pittsburgh area.

Police say 23-year-old Jacob Ryan Ruth, of Harmony, is charged with one count of retail theft for a continuous scheme that spanned from November 4 to December 4 at multiple Lowe’s retail locations, beginning and ending in Butler Township, Butler County.

Ruth allegedly stole over $2,000.00 worth of merchandise and later returned the stolen items for in-store credit in the form of gift cards. He then used the gift cards to purchase expensive tools, police say.

State Police discovered signs of fraudulent purchases while serving a search warrant on Ruth’s pickup truck for items stolen from a home in Jefferson Township, Butler County. Police and Lowe’s representatives cooperated in obtaining evidence of Ruth stealing and returning merchandise at five locations in Butler and Allegheny Counties.

Ruth was initially arrested for theft of jewelry, cash, and other valuables from a residence on December 6, 2022.

In the weeks following, another victim familiar with Ruth reported a chainsaw stolen from his garage.

The chainsaw was recovered by a plainclothes officer when Ruth attempted to sell it in the parking lot of an area gas station, according to police.

Some of the items stolen include a Reliabilt 1-inch x 12-inch x 6-foot Red Oak Board (valued at $2,287.97); a 2-inch x 6-inch x 92 ⅝-inch whitewood S4S Kiln Dried Stud (valued at $11.88); and a Lowe’s 9-foot x 150-foot water-resistant house wrap (valued at $472.00).

Criminal charges have been filed in District Courts 50-3-03 and 50-1-01.

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Category: Local News, News, Police & Fire Calls

Jacob Deemer is a reporter for EYT Media Group based in Venango County. He started his career as a sports writer for a local newspaper before contributing to as a beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has spent over 5 years covering sports, crime, and local news in Venango, Clarion, and Jefferson Counties.
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