Phila. Man Sentenced In Half-baked Thefts

Posted: February 24, 1991

As one prosecutor put it, Thomas Kisselback knew where the dough was.

But Kisselback's fondness for burglarizing pizzerias did not pay. In one, all he managed to gather was $10. In another, his take was a BB gun.

For both, he earned three to 15 years in state prison.

Kisselback, 38, of the 400 block of Dugan Street in Philadelphia, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to charges that included burglary, theft and receiving stolen property.

According to court records, Kisselback was first arrested on Nov. 18, 1989. About 3:20 a.m., a Lower Southampton police officer noticed a broken window and a car running at Angelo's Restaurant, a pizzeria along the 1000 block of Bustleton Pike in Feasterville.

Other officers then arrived. As one searched the rear of the building, he heard the sound of cracking wood and turned to see Kisselback hiding in a tree. In Kisselback's pocket was a $10 bill, the same amount missing from the cash register.

While awaiting trial, Kisselback later escaped from a prison drug and rehabilitation program, Assistant District Attorney T. Gary Gambardella said, but reappeared in Bensalem on Oct. 14, 1990. Just after 3:30 a.m., police responded to complaints that someone was shooting a gun on the roof of Phil & Leon's Old Haven Style Pizza in the 1500 block of Bristol Pike.

There they found Kisselback and James J. McKenna, 31, of the 900 block of Scattergood Street, Philadelphia. The two had climbed into the restaurant through an exhaust vent and left with a BB gun.

Police later discovered that the car the two men drove, a red Datsun, was reported stolen during a burglary in Philadelphia four nights earlier - at a pizzeria.

On Thursday, Bucks County Court Judge Kenneth G. Biehn also ordered Kisselback to pay more than $2,200 in restitution to his victims for damages. McKenna is awaiting trial on similar charges, Gambardella said.

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Four men convicted of running a sports-betting operation in the county have been sentenced to probation.

Ralph DiGuiseppe Jr., 34, of the 900 block of Wood Street, Bristol Borough, who investigators believed headed the operation, was sentenced Tuesday by Judge Biehn to five years' probation and ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

Two co-defendants, Lawrence J. Rudy, 38, of the 300 block of Harrison Street, Bristol, and Thomas Angelini, 34, of the first block of Hiddenturn Way, Newtown, were each sentenced to three years' probation and ordered to pay a fine of $2,000.

Gerald Dryden, 30, of the 3600 block of East Crown Drive, Philadelphia, was ordered to serve two years' probation and pay a $1,000 fine.

Judge Biehn also ordered DiGuiseppe, Rudy and Angelini to each pay $8,000 to the state, which represented the cost of the investigation.

Each pleaded guilty Nov. 13 to charges of bookmaking and criminal conspiracy. Additional charges that included racketeering, terroristic threats and theft by extortion were dismissed.

According to court records, the state Attorney General's Office began investigating the group in the fall of 1988.

A state grand jury indicted the men in July 1989.

A man arrested in March carrying 1,700 prescription pills has been sentenced Tuesday by Judge Biehn to two to four years in county prison.

David Christine, 34, of the 6100 block of Algard Street, Philadelphia, was convicted by a jury on Jan. 7 of possession, possession with intent to deliver and delivery of controlled substances.

Christine's arrest on March 31 followed an undercover operation by the state Attorney General's Office and state police, with assistance from the Bensalem Township Police.

According to court records, a confidential informant arranged a transaction at the lot of the Hilton Hotel at Route 1 and Old Lincoln Highway.

At the time of his arrest, Christine was carrying more than $11,000 in cash and a logbook listing his clients. Investigators also found more than 1,700 pills on him and in his car, according to Assistant District Attorney T. Gary Gambardella.

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