What’s going on?

Print This Page

First Posted: 3/9/2015

Police: Former Amazon employee stole from customers’ gift cards, thought thefts were untraceable

An Amazon employee transferred more than $18,000 from Amazon.com customers’ gift cards into her accounts, thinking the thefts could not be traced.

Budurka, 23, of West St. Mary’s Road, Hanover Township faces charges of theft and access device fraud.

West Pittston Police Sgt. Samuel Fuller said he received a walk-in complaint from Martin Rakaczewski, loss prevention manager for Amazon.com in Breinigsville. Rakaczewski said Budurka has been stealing gift cards from the company’s fulfillment office in I-Gourmet. Amazon employees ship chocolate products sold by I-Gourmet and Amazon gift cards.

Rackaczewski said Amazon investigator Sheila Hamm contacted him on Feb. 23 after receiving calls from customers whose gift cards were either not working or had no funds applied to them. The cards were tracked and Budurka was identified as the person who shipped them. Between September 2013 and Feb. 25 a total of $18,259 from 315 cards were transferred to two Amazon accounts Budurka had opened.

When questioned by Rackaczewski, Budurka admitted stealing the funds. In a signed statement she said, “I have been taking gift cards since around Christmas time two years ago when it was brought to my attention that they were untraceable by another associate.”

Troopers: Stranded Hazle Township motorist turned out to be a thief

A Hazlebrook Road resident was was robbed by a man posing as a stranded motorist early Sunday. The resident agreed to help the man, who said he had gotten his vehicle stuck in the snow nearby, and the two got into the resident’s vehicle.

Once inside the vehicle, the suspect produced a handgun and demanded the victim’s money. The man complied. Once the suspect got the money, he fled on foot to his nearby truck, troopers said.

The suspect is described as Hispanic, 5 foot 7 inches tall and 150 pounds. He was wearing a dark hooded jacket, a light colored t-shirt and dark blue pants.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Pennsylvania State Police at Hazleton at 570-459-3890

Richard Suda, 72, identified as Edwardsville fire victim

Richard Suda, 72, was pronounced dead. He died in a fire at his Meyers Street home last week.

A cause of death had not been established as of Sunday night.

Crews from surrounding communities responded to the call at about 8:10 a.m. Sunday, and quickly knocked down the fire that was reported in the basement of the two-story house.

The cause remained under investigation later Sunday. A state police fire marshal was at the house, located in the middle of the block between East Grove and Bellas streets, earlier in the day.

A neighbor corroborated the caller’s report.

“I heard the explosion there,” said Deb McGourty.

She pinpointed it to the downstairs and said black smoke was coming out of the chimney.

“The smell, it reeked,” she said.

Workers from natural gas utility UGI were checking the area for leaks.

Wilkes-Barre police suspect same man robbed East Main Street Turkey Hill twice

Police said they suspect the man who robbed the Turkey Hill at 335 E. Main St. last week was the same person who got away with money from the store last month.

A store employee told police that the man came in around 11:30 p.m. and demanded cash. He fled on foot and police did not find him while searching the nearby area. Police said he is suspected of robbing the store on Feb. 20.

Police said store video will be provided to assist in the investigation.

Local health advocates react to McDonald’s super-sized poultry plan

McDonald’s made a super-sized statement this week, prompting Wyoming Valley health advocates to debate whether it was a step in the right direction or a publicity move.

The fast food franchise promised to ban the sale of chicken raised with antibiotics that could decrease human resistance to some illnesses. The corporation is currently working with suppliers to iron out details of the policy, which will be implemented in its 14,000 U.S. restaurants in the next two years.

In another move, McDonald’s announced it will also sell milk from cows that are not treated with rbST, an artificial growth hormone.

Both are signs of significant changes in the long-term vision of one of the world’s most recognizable brands.