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Two accused of stealing $16,000 from Lowe's

by The Indiana Gazette on May 09, 2013 11:00 AM

State police have accused two men of stealing $16,000 from their workplace earlier this year.

Joseph Chunkala, 21, of North Harmony Road, Penn Run, and David Cochran, 21, of 1134 School St., Indiana, were each arrested Tuesday and charged with a third-degree felony count of theft.

Loss-prevention workers at Lowe’s home improvement store in Townfair Center along South Ben Franklin Road brought police into their investigation April 30, reporting to Trooper Timothy Lipniskis that internal audits showed more than $16,000 had gone missing since February.

Chunkala and Cochran each admitted to Lowe’s managers that they took cash from registers and fabricated merchandise returns, according to a criminal complaint.

Police say both men told Lipniskis they needed money to pay bills. Chunkala took $9,518.94 and Cochran took $6,831.01, court papers show. District Judge Susanne Steffee, of Homer City, released both on unsecured bond and required them to appear Monday for a preliminary hearing.

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