- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

BELLE VERNON, Pa. (AP) - A western Pennsylvania will appear before a federal magistrate on charges he robbed two banks and a store and eventually told police he did so because he needed the money to kill his ex-girlfriend and flee the state.

Rostraver police have said 34-year-old Stephen Gaza IV, of Masontown, “openly admitted” that was his motive after he was charged by them with robbing a PNC Bank branch there on June 11.

Federal prosecutors have since taken over the case and indicted Gaza last month in that robbery. He’s also charged with robbing a Kmart on June 7 and a United Bank on June 15, both in Uniontown.

Gaza’s defense attorney didn’t immediately return a call for comment. His initial appearance in a Pittsburgh federal courtroom is set for Wednesday afternoon.

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