UPDATE: Baldwin Man Accused of Retirement Home Thefts
Police say that a Providence Point security guard is responsible for a rash of burglaries and thefts at a Scott Township retirement home in 2011.
UPDATE: Kowalski will have a non-jury trial at the Allegheny County Courthouse starting on Feb. 28.
Steven Kowalski, 49, of 681 Elaine Dr. in Baldwin Borough, already has been charged with two counts of burglary along with receiving stolen property and theft after police said that they arrested him when he showed up for his evening shift on May 31.
Investigators said that they received a break in the case earlier that morning when a resident came home to find her deadbolt unlocked and a man hiding behind a chair in her apartment. Police said that Kowalski put a cushion over his face and walked past the woman to leave her residence.
The resident didn't see the intruder's face but said that he had dark hair and was wearing a white shirt and black pants, which is the uniform for security guards at the sprawling retirement facility. Police said that they eliminated other potential suspects with the description and were able to target Kowalski.
Scott police Sgt. Jeff Skees said that he checked pawn shop records in Pittsburgh and found an extensive list of items that Kowalski had sold. Skees said that some of the items matched possessions reported missing by Providence Point residents, including 25 charms that had personalized information on them and several sets of fine silverware.
Police estimate that Kowalski took nearly $150,000 worth of items.
Skees said that Kowalski offered some sort of "admission" of guilt when being interviewed after his arrest. Skees said that he expects to charge Kowalski with additional burglary and theft counts.
"At least now, (residents) know they can sleep easy knowing the actor was found," Skees said.
Providence Point administrators told Skees that Kowalski had been working as a security guard there for about two years. They changed locks in February after numerous thefts, but Skees said that the security guard apparently obtained another master key to the residences.
Residents at the retirement home on Kane Boulevard reported at least nine thefts from October through December 2011 that included jewelry, silverware and silver plate settings.
Kowalski is free on $10,000 bond.
This article originally appeared on the ChartiersValley Patch.
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