Burglary String Smashed By Local And State Police

 

Area  police  assisted  three  PA  State  Police  Barracks  in  cracking  over  90  burglaries

 in  at  least  two  counties.  News  of  the  breakthrough  came  on

 Wednesday,  June  5th  in  an  official  notice  from  Rice  Township  Police  Chief  Robert  Franks,  Jr.  announcing  that

 charges  have  been  brought  “ against  Christopher  Lee  Albertson,  33,

 of  Freeland  PA,  in  reference  to  a

 string  of  7  burglaries  that  occurred  between  December  4,  2012  and  May  30,  2013  in  Rice  Township  and  Nuangola

 Borough.”

The  report  stated  that  Albertson  was  arrested  on  25  separate  counts  by  Rice  Township  Police,  citing  Officer  Brian

 Stout  as  “the  lead  investigator  and  arresting  officer,  ”and  advising  that

 the  arrest  was  accomplished  through  a  cooperative  effort  with  PSP  from  Hazleton  and  Shickshinny  Barracks.

This  reserved  statement  belies  over

 six  months  of  investigation  and

 follow-up  among  three  State  Police  Barracks  and  five  municipal  departments.  The  total  of

 participating  police  forces  shows  Rice,  which  also  covers  Nuangola,  Fairview,

 Wright,  Butler,  Sugarloaf  Township  Police,  along  with  officers  from

 PSP  Hazleton,  Shickshinny  and  Wyoming  Barracks.

At  this  time  statistics  for  Dorrance  and  Hollenback  are  not  available,  but  the

 total  of  incidents  and  subsequent  charges  numbers  a  staggering  33  counts  in  Mountaintop  alone.

The  trail  starts  in  Nuangola  at  the  home  of  Milroy  Roushey  on  Tuesday,  December

 4,  2012,  when  the  resident  arrived  home  to  find  his  front  door  ajar,

 and  his  basement  window  open.  Having  checked  his  belongings,  he

 found  that  approximately  $350  in

 jewelry  was  missing.  This  information  and  the  forthcoming  details  are  derived  from  docket  sheets  filed  with  Magisterial  District  Court  Judges  Ronald  W.  Swank  of  Mountaintop,

 Daniel  O’Donnell  of  Sugarloaf,  and  Michael  G.  Dotzel,  of  Wilkes-

Barre.

On  December  17,  2012,  Elmer  Stewart

 of  Rice  Township  was  asleep

 at  home  having  worked  anight  shift  when  he  was  awakenedby  banging  on  his  front  door.  Thedefendant  was  apparently  attemptingto  verify  if  anyone  was  home.  Hewas  carrying  a  crowbar  at  the  time. When  confronted  by  the  homeownerAlbertson  brandished  the  tool,  butthen  fled.

On  January  2,  2013,  the  homeof  Donna  Meyers  of  Slocum  wasentered,  according  to  the  filing  byCpl.  Patrick  Dougherty  of  PSPShickshinny.  A  total  of  $2,500  inmissing  cash  and  jewelry  were  taken.

Donna  Shifflett  of  Rice  reportedher  home  had  been  burgled  onJanuary  4,  with  $19,686  in  currencyand  jewels  missing.  The  police  foundfootprints  and  a  discarded  cigarettebutt  at  the  scene.

Between  February  7  and  10,  theHischak  home  on  Slocum  Road  wasentered  and  jewels  and  collectableswere  stolen  valued  at  $26,210.

On  February  22,  Aubrey  Coulterreported  that  her  home  in  Slocumhome  had  been  burgled  and  $24,465in  tools,  jewels  and  cash  were  stolen.

That  same  date,  the  Gallaghers  inNuangola  discovered  that  their  homehad  been  broken  into  and  jewelryestimated  at  $2,675  was  missing.

Six  days  later,  on  Feb.  28th  the  Ricepolice  were  again  called  regardinga  break-in,  this  one  at  the  home  ofBernadette  Murphy.  A  garage  doorhad  been  pried  open  and  cash  andjewelry  worth  $15,056.83  was  gone.

The  pattern  shifted  west  toConyngham  Township  where  theMaga  home  was  entered  and  $34,745in  jewelry  was  stolen.

On  March  13th  Lynda  Kozlowskiof  Conyngham  Township  reportedthat  jewelry  worth  $1,400  had  beentaken.

The  various  affidavits  submittedby  police  indicate  that  informationsharing  was  resulting  in  consistentreports  of  vehicle  descriptions.   AsOfficer  Stout  states,  the  numerousburglaries  “appear  to  follow  aparticular  pattern…It  also  becameapparent  that  several  surrounding  

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