Angelo Pegnato, “Burglary”, 24 March 1947

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Angelo Pegnato

Angelo Pegnato was one of a gang of safe-crackers and burglars—most of whom, like Angelo’s brother, Frank, had fought in the war—who were arrested in March, 1947, after stealing thousands of dollars from businesses in town.

They took almost $4,000 from the Strouss-Hirshberg department store, and $3,360 in cash and $6,250 in war bonds from the Rick’s Motor Car office. Smaller sums were taken from Lebo’s clothing store, the Lincoln-Garfield school, the Lawrence laundry, Exide Battery and Star Lumber. They broke into safes in Fisher’s furniture store and Marchaletta’s hardware store, but found no money.

One of the gang, Sammy Sams, implicated an apparently innocent man—Leonard D’Antonio—in the crimes, which led to a lengthy series of court appearances and legal complications. Angelo avoided all that by pleading guilty at once. He got a year in jail.

Six years later, he was charged with unlawful participation in a riot and aggravated assault and battery after he and five companions beat a police officer at a roadside café. (The fight had come to an end when the officer shot one of the men in the foot, amputating a toe.)

There is no further record of Angelo’s life. He died, at the age of sixty-three, in 1983.

Sources: New Castle News (7 June 1947, “Enter Pleas In Safe Cracking”; 22 September 1953, “Bartoshek Waives Case Into Court”; 23 September 1953, “Indictments Are Returned”).

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