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Man admits stealing credit cards from gym lockers to buy $95K in goods

A New York City man pleaded guilty Monday to stealing credit cards from gym locker rooms in Erie County and using them to buy $95,355 in electronics.

George Piha, 51, pleaded guilty to three counts of identity theft, two counts of burglary and one count of scheme to defraud, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said. He faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison.

Piha was arrested July 30 in the Albany suburb of Slingerlands after he was stopped for traffic violations. Officers found cut up credit cards, a wig, disguises, lock picking equipment and new electronic devices worth more than $10,000 in his van, Bethlehem Police said. The electronics were purchased with credit cards stolen in July in Erie and Monroe counties.

Piha had entered locker rooms at fitness and aquatic centers and stolen credit cards, Flynn said.

Police were investigating Piha in connection with thefts in seven upstate counties.


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