Crime

Bellefonte man stole from the same gas station multiple times, police say

A Bellefonte man is facing felony charges after a series of alleged thefts from a local gas station.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Spring Township police, officers were first alerted to a theft at the Lykens Market on Zion Road in October. An employee reported that a man who is a frequent customer at the station pumped $20 worth of gas into a Jeep and drove away without paying.

A second report came in early December, police said, when the assistant manager reported that the man stole $68 worth of fuel. Video surveillance showed a man in his early 50’s driving a Jeep. The man walked into the market wearing a hat, headed toward the bathroom and then left without paying.

On Jan. 10, police said, the assistant manager reported a third theft, saying the same man pumped $13 in gas. He reportedly entered the store after pumping, looked around and left without paying.

The man was recognized by the officer as David Beck, 52, police said. The officer made contact with Beck at his home on Thursday.

Beck initially denied stealing anything, police said, and said he’d been at the gas station the day before and gotten $13 in gas, but realized he forgot his wallet when he went to pay and told the clerk he’d be back.

According to police, surveillance footage showed Beck did not speak to the clerk while he was in the store. Beck has two previous misdemeanor arrests for retail theft, court documents show, making future theft charges felonies.

Beck was arraigned Friday before District Judge Kelley Gillette-Walker, according to court documents, and charged with three felony counts of retail theft and three misdemeanor charges of theft of services. Unsecured bail was set at $10,000.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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