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Man accused of cheating woman out of nearly $2,000 is arraigned



Published: Tue, August 23, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



AUSTINTOWN -- A man suspected of posing as an electric company employee and bilking a 90-year-old woman out of almost $2,000 was arraigned Monday in Mahoning County Area Court.

Natale Rucci, 39, of Girard, was arrested Monday morning by Girard police, said Austintown detective Frank Tomasino. Rucci is charged with felony complicity to theft.

Another suspect in the case, Michele Sabella, also of Girard, is still at large, Tomasino said. The court lists the charge against Sabella as felony grand theft.

Rucci and Sabella are accused of going to the woman's house on Frederick Street in Austintown on Aug. 11 and posing as Ohio Edison employees.

The woman told Austintown police a woman came to her home at about 5 p.m. shortly after the electricity in the home went out.

The victim said the woman told her she would need a new electric meter so power could be restored. A short time later a man, believed to be Rucci, came to the house and told the victim he needed to check the breaker box in her basement.

The victim said the pair told her they installed a new meter, a new breaker box and new electrical outlets at a cost of $1,840. The woman wrote a check. She called police when she found that the meter and breaker box had not been replaced.

Rucci will appear again in court Sept. 12 for a pre-trial hearing.




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