Pair Charged In Summer Theft From PA Scrapyard

WARREN, Pa. — Two Sugar Grove men have been charged in connection with a burglary this summer from a scrapyard in Freehold Township.

Ehren Michael Brown, 38, of Sugar Grove, has been charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property – all felonies – and a summary charge of criminal mischief.

Thomas, Johnathan Riel, 25, of Sugar Grove, has been charged with conspiracy – burglary, conspiracy – criminal trespass, conspiracy – theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property.

These charges stem from an incident in which a victim reported to Pennsylvania State Police in Corry that a building he owned had been burglarized.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, the owner of Seamans Scrap Yard at 205 Deadmans Run Road in Freehold Township reported that a glass window, valued at $150, on the south side of the building was broken and that several items from inside had been taken.

According to the victim, specifically, missing items included a black forced air heater valued at approximately $300, a red Milwaukee airless paint sprayer valued at approximately $757, a Makita 3/4 drive electric impact gun valued at approximately $500, a Dewalt 1/2 drive electric impact gun valued at approximately $160, a Dewalt Sawzall valued at approximately $100, approximately 24 assorted vehicle alternators, air conditioning compressors, and starters valued at approximately $600, two flat radiators valued at approximately $1,000, approximately four heavy equipment batteries valued at approximately $400, a 16-piece Craftsman 3/4 socket set valued at approximately $237, propane/oxygen torch components valued at $450, a backpack sprayer valued at approximately $120, and a large red Stack brand toolbox valued at approximately $500.

In total, approximately $5,124 worth of items were reportedly taken from the property. The victim estimated the burglary occurring between July 21 and August 21.

Witnesses at several Warren businesses and a Randolph, witness indicated that Brown and Riel attempted to sell items later identified by the victim as those taken from his building, including alternators and starters as well as a forced air heater and an airless paint sprayer.

The witness in Randolph bought the sprayer and heater from Brown, who the victim identified by his driver’s license number and address, which the victim had written down at the time of the sale.

Staff at Weitsmans Scrap Metal of Jamestown were able to produce signatures from Riel for several sales of alternators and starters.

A witness interviewed on Nov. 23 told state police that he was with Brown and Riel in his father’s truck when they were driving by Seamens Junk Yard on Deadmans Run Road in the summer of 2016. The witness “related (Riel) was driving,” the affidavit states, and said that Reil pulled the truck next to the office building at Seamans. The witness told police that Brown exited the truck and went to the rear of the building and that he heard glass breaking. The witness told police that Brown broke out a south-facing window on the rear of the building with a four-way tire iron and entered the building through the window, exiting through an entrance/exit door. The witness told police that Brown removed a large red tool box, a long black heater with yellow letters, a red paint sprayer with an attached pouch, and assorted vehicle parts from the building. The witness stated that the vehicle parts were then loaded into the truck and taken to a scrap yard in Jamestown to be sold.

Brown was committed to the Warren County Jail on $25,000 bail. Both he and Riel are awaiting a preliminary hearing, according to online court records.

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