Monday, April 8, 2024

Pine Grove Woman Accused of Stealing Over $5,000 from Hospitalized Friend

A Pine Grove woman is accused of stealing over $5,000 from a friend in Butler Township.

According to court papers filed by Ptlm. Francis Lally through Magisterial District Judge Edward Tarantelli’s office, on January 17th, 2024, Butler Township Police received a report of a theft on Tiley Road.

The victim reported that he had just spent several months in the hospital and upon returning home, his wallet was missing.  When checking his credit card and bank statements he found numerous fraudulent transactions.

The victim told police that his friend, Valerie Underkoffler, 57, of Pine Grove, had used his home while he was in the hospital and did not approve of her using his credit cards.

Ptlm. Lally used the bank and credit card statements to track down surveillance camera footage and receipts at the locations where the cards were used.

The investigation led to finding video of Underkoffler using the victim's cards at Turkey Hill in Lavelle, Pine Grove Wine and Spirits, Walmart in St. Clair, and an ATM machine at the Pine Grove Speedway from November 2023 to January 2024.  

The total number of fraudulent purchases was found to be $5,790.78.

Ptlm. Lally filed a criminal complaint on Friday, April 5th, 2024, charging Underkoffler with 5 counts of felony access device issued to another who did not authorize use, 5 counts of felony identity theft, and 5 counts of felony receiving stolen property.

As of Monday, April 8th, 2024, she was not in custody or arraigned on the above charges.