$25,000 of loot found in Munhall cemetery

Fugitive in deadly heist calls parents; more money stashed
March 8, 2012 12:01 am

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Kenneth John Konias Jr., the fugitive charged with killing a fellow armed security guard in a $2.3 million heist, stashed part of the loot in a Munhall cemetery near his great-grandmother's grave, investigators confirmed Wednesday.

Mr. Konias called his parents and told them to visit the grave-site at St. Mary Magdalene Cemetery, where authorities said Mr. Konias' father recovered about $25,000, authorities said. A relative contacted police.

Police in recent days have recovered that money as well as at least $200,000 from the Konias home in Dravosburg. But Mr. Konias Wednesday night remained at large.

"We have been making progress in a number of ways," Cmdr. Thomas Stangrecki of the city's major crimes division said, declining to elaborate except to say that police had received "numerous tips that we are checking out daily as they come in."

Mr. Konias has been on the lam since Feb. 28, when police found Michael Haines, 31, of East McKeesport dead of a single gunshot to the back of the head in the cargo area of the armored truck the men operated together for Garda Cash Logistics.

Police believe Mr. Konias had at least two hours to flee before fellow Garda employees discovered Mr. Haines' body in the idling truck underneath the 31st Street Bridge in the Strip District. He is charged with homicide, robbery and theft -- for allegedly taking Mr. Haines' 9 mm Glock service weapon. Mr. Konias is likely armed with that and at least one other semi-automatic pistol, Cmdr. Stangrecki said.

"We have been trying to push the word out to the public to help us find Konias," the commander said at a news conference, where he offered few new glimpses into the hunt, which now involves a "task force" of agencies including the FBI, state police, Allegheny County Sheriff's Office and officers from Ross and Mc-Keesport police departments.

"We don't want to reveal too much about the investigation because that could tip [our] hand," Cmdr. Stangrecki said. "We really don't want to lose any edge that we have."

Among the tips police have received was a reported sighting Wednesday afternoon of a man who matched Mr. Konias' description at the Waterworks Mall. The man was driving a red car, but officers, who flooded the area, found neither the vehicle nor the man, Cmdr. Stangrecki said.

"We are hoping additional tips like that come in," he said. Police still believe Mr. Konias is driving a tan or champagne-colored 2006 Ford Explorer with Pennsylvania license plate GZW-4572.


First Published 2012-03-07 23:30:15

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