The theft charges filed by police in Collier Township, where Kunitz lives with his wife and their children, grew out of an unrelated arson and insurance fraud investigation by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
In that case, Andrea Forsythe, 26, of Oakdale, is charged with setting fire to a home she rented in Sturgeon, and then filing fraudulent insurance claims for the contents — including some jewels she had allegedly stolen from another couple while also working as a nanny, according to federal court documents.
The other couple told investigators that an 18-karat gold diamond necklace worth about $4,400 and a gold diamond stud earring worth more than $10,000 had been stolen from them before Forsythe had them appraised last year. The appraisals were then used by Forsythe to make property claims to Nationwide insurance following the fire, federal authorities contend.
On Tuesday, Collier Township police filed theft and receiving stolen property charges based on information recently received by ATF agents, according to a criminal complaint. WPXI-TV first reported the new theft charges on which Forsythe was arraigned Wednesday.
According to the police complaint, the ATF agent told police that Forsythe confessed to stealing earrings from his wife, Maureen Kunitz. They were appraised at $11,900 when Kunitz bought them for his wife's birthday sometime before she noticed them missing in September 2003.
Forsythe confessed to the ATF agent and an Allegheny County police detective in December, the complaint said.
Forsythe acknowledged stealing the diamond earrings from Maureen Kunitz's bedroom "while she was acting as nanny and the victim and her husband were not home," the complaint said. Forsythe then sold a loose diamond from one of the earrings to a jewelry store for $2,542 and the other earring to a precious metals and jewelry store for $1,408.50.
Forsythe faces a preliminary hearing May 11 on the new theft charges. She's still awaiting trial on the federal arson and wire fraud charges.
Forsythe doesn't have a listed home phone and online court records don't list a defence attorney on the theft charges. Forsythe's public defender on the federal charges didn't respond to a request for comment Friday. Forsythe also didn't respond to messages left on a cellphone and email address listed as hers in a federal search warrant.