Watch the video…we have a genius at work here.
AMBRIDGE — Police officers studied a surveillance video as though it were excerpted from a Clooney/Pitt heist film, although this script lacked the tactical insights and technological tools of Oceans 11, 12 and 13.
The opening scene featured shredded pieces of the ceiling fluttering curiously to the floor of a small market, darkened and unoccupied, on Duss Avenue in Ambridge. A moment later, a knotted nylon rope was lowered from ceiling to floor.
Dramatically, black-soled boots and then legs appeared clinging to the highest portion of the rope. They descended methodically until the film’s leading man, wearing a white T-shirt over his face, touched down on the floor.
“That’s the guy from upstairs,” two officers and store owner El Joufri Mohone shouted together, according to the Ambridge police report.
Nicholas Shane Pellon, 25, of 555 Duss Ave., Apartment 2, is facing burglary and related charges for the cigarette heist at 8:45 p.m. Monday at Moh’s Market, also located at 555 Duss Ave., according to the report written by Patrolman Michael McQuaide.
Pellon took cigarettes valued at $150 and caused $2,500 damage to the building, according to police.
Four other people — three waiting in a get-away vehicle and one in possession of power tools — were mentioned in the police report but have not been charged.
The apartment above Moh’s Market is vacant, and the door had been forced open, according to the report. Police found a drill bit, an empty package of reciprocating saw blades and the nylon rope scattered around a square hole carved in the apartment floor.
The surveillance video has some comedic moments. According to the police report, after handing a white trash bag full of cigarettes through the hole, Pellon moved to the front door. He snapped the handle off the door and was unable to open it. He went to the rear of the store and broke a window, but could not escape.
The police report said Pellon was “obviously very frantically trying to get out of the building because he knocks over a Western Union display.”
The car with three people waiting outside left before police arrived.
Jimmy Mann, acting police chief, said Pellon managed to get out through a basement door, but he returned to the scene a short time later, where police who had viewed the video were waiting.
Wearing the boots featured in the video, Pellon was apprehended, according to the report. He remained in the Beaver County Jail Tuesday after being unable to post a $20,000 bond.