Crime

Philipsburg fireman charged with theft, forgery; Reliance out thousands

The Reliance Fire Company in Philipsburg says it’s in financial peril after the former treasurer, Ryan Allen Jones, forged checks and stole $14,496.95 from the firehouse.
The Reliance Fire Company in Philipsburg says it’s in financial peril after the former treasurer, Ryan Allen Jones, forged checks and stole $14,496.95 from the firehouse. CDT photo

A Philipsburg firefighter is facing felony charges that he stole from his fire company.

Ryan Allen Jones, 27, was arraigned before District Judge Allen Sinclair on Wednesday. State police at Philipsburg charged him with forgery, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, and receiving stolen property, all felonies, and one misdemeanor count of bad checks.

Jones is a member of Reliance Fire Company on Centre Street in Philipsburg, where he served as treasurer, according to company President Dave Mollura. Jones also is listed as the company’s truck captain in its 2014 officers list.

According to court documents, Jones admitted to writing 35 checks to himself from Reliance’s account. The checks totaled $14,496.95.

Mollura told police that each check required two signatures. Police charge that he signed the checks illegally.

On Monday, Mollura told the Centre Daily Times that the thefts were discovered in March, when company bills were discovered to be unpaid and the fire station’s power was almost shut off. The company attempted to work with Jones on repayment. Court documents show that $3,900 in cash was repaid, but a $600 check written by him to the company bounced, leading to another $50 bank fee, and the misdemeanor check charge.

Trooper Prestyn Showers said he spoke with Jones by telephone April 9, with Jones saying he would make full repayment the next day. No further repayment was made.

An additional case filed against Jones in civil court in Centre County shows that Wells Fargo Bank filed mortgage foreclosure proceedings against Jones in December 2013.

Mollura said the thefts began in January.

Lori Falce can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @LoriFalce.

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