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2 Arrested, Charged In Raffle Tickets Theft From Local Charity

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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Ralph Iannotti began working as a KDKA-TV general assignment reporter...
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RESERVE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Reserve Township police have arrested two people on charges of allegedly selling stolen raffle tickets under false pretenses.

Authorities say 22-year-old Jessica Stewart, of Reserve Township, and her boyfriend, Joseph Conner, of Millvale, are facing charges of criminal mischief and theft by deception.

The raffle tickets were supposed to raise money for Jaime’s Dream Team, a charitable foundation that helps the severely injured and terminally ill.

According to Reserve Township police, the unsold tickets were taken late last week from the parked car of a woman who volunteers for the charity.

Police say they got the break they were looking for when they received a phone call from a local resident.

“One of our residents reported to the organization that they believed the person who sold them the ticket was not supposed to be selling them,” said Patrolman Brian Dourlain, of the Reserve Township Police Department. “Of the 33 tickets, they had sold 30 of them already at $10 apiece, and they still had three unsold tickets in their possession.”

Jamie Holmes, 24, of White Oak, founded the charity in 2005 to help people sicker than her. She said she felt sorry for everyone involved.

“I feel very bad for everybody that was deceived,” Holmes said. “I feel bad for the volunteer that they were stolen out of her car;’ but most of all, I feel bad for the people that stole them because obviously, they need help.

“I’m upset, I’m hurt because I live with an illness every day, and I’m sick myself out there working very hard to make other people happy and it really, really makes me upset that this happened,” she added.

Holmes says she hopes the suspects are held accountable.

“They were going around with the tickets and they were saying that the tickets were to be sold for Jamie who has bone cancer,” Holmes said. “And I do not have cancer, I do not have bone cancer, and I’m sorry that this happened.”

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