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Police and court roundup: retail thefts, phone scams and assaults

The Middletown Police Department reported a total of 109 incidents for the week of Nov. 9 through Nov. 16.

These do not include incidents that police receive through Dauphin County 911 dispatch, as well as some incidents involving juveniles that are kept confidential.

The 109 incidents include:
• Three hit and runs.
• Seven incidents in which MPD assisted another agency.
• 11 incidents of suspicious activity involving a vehicle or person.
• One case of harassment.
• Two residential burglaries.
• One false alarm.
• Two domestic disturbance calls resulting in an arrest.
• Two domestic disturbance calls not resulting in an arrest.
• Three cases of criminal mischief.
• One report of a missing juvenile.
• Five traffic stops resulting in issuing a citation or ticket.
• 15 traffic stops resulting in a warning.
• Four parking violations.
• Two nonreportable accidents.
• One death investigation.
• One robbery.
• Two thefts, including one from a vehicle and one from a retail establishment.
• One traffic-related complaint resulting in an arrest.
• One suicide investigation.
• Two incidents involving animals.
• One reported case of fraud or forgery.
• One disorderly conduct.
• One alleged case of assault/harassment.

Domestic assault

Ryan Eugene Shoff, 37, of Middletown, was arrested and charged with simple assault and making terroristic threats following a domestic disturbance in the first block of South Union Street on Wednesday, Nov. 16, police said.

Shoff was arraigned before District Judge David Judy and was placed in Dauphin County Prison on $75,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 28.

Simple assault, threats

Timothy Vernon Norment, 19, of Middletown was arrested and charged with simple assault, terroristic threats, harassment, disorderly conduct, and criminal mischief following a domestic disturbance in the 600 block of Spring Street on Saturday, Nov. 12, police said.

Norment was arraigned before night court District Judge Joseph S. Lindsey and placed in Dauphin County Prison on $15,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 28 before Judy.

Wheel theft attempt

An unsuccessful attempt was made to remove the wheels from a vehicle as it was parked in the 100 block of Mill Street on Friday, Nov. 11, police said.

Police said the theft was thwarted by the vehicle having anti-theft lug nuts. The other lug nuts were removed in the attempt to steal the wheels, police said.

Phone scam

Police on Thursday Nov. 10 received a report of an alleged scam involving a text message sent over a cellphone. The text was for a donation that turned out to be bogus, police said.

The fictitious number from a man identified as Merle Butler was in the 410 area code, police said.

Retail theft

Police have charged three people with retail theft following an investigation into incidents at the Giant food store sometime between Nov. 1 and Nov. 11, police said.

Kathy Flanagan, 52, of Ono, was charged with conspiracy to commit retail theft, retail theft, theft by unlawful taking, and theft by deception.

James J. Flanagan, 54, also of Ono, was charged with retail theft, theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, and conspiracy to commit retail theft.

Kathy and James Flanagan had not been taken into custody and no preliminary hearing date has been set.

Police also charged Alfred C. Carrera II, 44, of Hummelstown, with retail theft and theft by unlawful taking.

Carrera is in Dauphin County Prison on $100,000 bail on unrelated charges. A preliminary hearing is set on the retail theft charge before Judy on Nov. 28.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 15:32

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After chase, arrests made in Hardee’s carjacking

The couple wanted in connection with a Nov. 13 carjacking at Hardee’s in Middletown was captured after a police chase in which the male suspect was driving more than 100 mph above the speed limit, according to court records.CarreraAlfred

That chase ended in a wreck in Swatara Township on Nov. 16, police said. The arrest came only after the couple eluded authorities in another high-speed chase the day before.

Middletown police have charged Lisa Dawn Smith, 45, of the 100 block of East Main Street, Hummelstown, with conspiracy-robbery of motor vehicle, and both felony and misdemeanor counts of conspiracy-theft by unlawful taking.

Alfred Charles Carrera II, 44, of Hummelstown, was charged with robbery of motor vehicle, two counts of theft by unlawful taking-moveable property and terroristic threats. 

Carrera has been charged with retail theft and theft by unlawful taking-movable property in Middletown and three counts of retail theft in Camp Hill. Carrera also was wanted in connection with driving a stolen Nissan truck prior to the theft of the Durango, authorities said. SMITH LisaDawn

A woman reported that while she was eating at Hardee’s on Main Street in Middletown at about 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, she noticed a couple, later identified as Carrera and Smith, as the only other patrons in the restaurant. Carrera walked up to her table from behind and took her wallet and keys that were on the table in front of her with her food, according to the affidavit filed with charges against Smith.

He then ran out the door to the woman’s 2006 Dodge Durango and yelled at Smith to get in, the affidavit said. The owner followed them to her vehicle, opened the door and demanded they get out of her car, the affidavit said. Carrera reached for the waistband of his pants and threatened to shoot her if she did not go away. The car owner said she did not see a gun, the affidavit said. They left in the Durango, heading east on Main Street.

Smith and Carrera were next seen at the Giant store along Route 39 in South Hanover Township at 3 a.m. Nov. 15, caught on surveillance video committing retail theft, said Middletown Police Sgt. Richard Hiester.

Carrera eluded police during a high-speed chase that began in Mount Joy, Lancaster County, Tuesday, Nov. 15, Hiester said. Carrera is alleged to have pushed a shopping cart of unpaid items, including laundry detergent, from a Giant store in Mount Joy prior to the chase, much as he is accused to have done previously in Middletown. He fled in the Durango toward Manheim, and police stopped pursuing him in the interest of public safety, Hiester said.

Carrera and Smith are believed to have shoplifted laundry detergent from at least five Giant stores in the area, Heister said. 

A Penbrook police officer identified the Durango during a patrol in the evening of Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the borough, according to Chief David Hiester of Penbrook Police. This officer and others from nearby jurisdictions pursued Carrera. 

“His efforts to escape were dangerous to anyone nearby,” David Hiester said. Swatara Township Police had joined the pursuit, but broke off because of the dangerous conditions, according to Lt. Darrell Reider of Swatara Township Police. 

The pursuit ended when Carrera crashed the Durango at 8:45 p.m. Nov. 16 at the intersection of Paxton Street and City Park Drive in Swatara Township. The Durango had stolen license plates on it, according to authorities.

David Hiester did not know whether Carrera and Smith were armed when they were captured. 

Penbrook Police charged Carrera with aggravated assault by vehicle while driving under the influence, fleeing or attempting to elude police, receiving stolen property and flight to avoid apprehension, trial or punishment — all felonies. He was also charged with misdemeanors, including driving under the influence/general impairment, driving under the influence of a controlled substance, six counts of recklessly endangering another person, loitering and prowling at night time, accident involving damage attended vehicle/property and accidents involving death or personal injury.

For the chase, police cited him for exceeding the maximum speed limit by 102 mph, for failing to stop at nine red lights and seven stop signs, among 40 total traffic infractions.

Penbrook Police charged Smith with flight to avoid apprehension, trial or punishment and receiving stolen property, both felonies. She was also charged with use/possession of drug paraphernalia and loitering and prowling at night time, which are misdemeanors. 

Smith faces retail theft charges for an incident in May in West Donegal Township, Lancaster County, four counts of retail theft from a September incident in Camp Hill, and a retail theft charge from October in Derry Township She was convicted of use/possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from an incident in April in Susquehanna Township. 

After the accident, Carrera admitted to police that he and Smith had stolen soap from Giant stores and were involved in two police chases, the affidavit reported.

Carrera and Smith are being held in Dauphin County Prison.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 November 2016 14:01

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Police roundup: Woman walking dog assaulted, two drug arrests

The following is a compilation of major criminal incidents and arrests as reported by Middletown police for the week of Nov. 2-9. Some of the information included also comes from criminal complaints obtained by the Press And Journal from the office of District Judge David Judy.

Middletown police reported a total of 136 incidents for the week, including:.

• 20 traffic stops resulting in a warning being given.

• 8 traffic stops resulting in issuing a traffic ticket.

• 2 parking violations.

• 3 reported cases of a physical assault.

• 1 reported case of fraud and/or forgery.

• 1 reported residential burglary.

• 1 reported robbery.

• 5 cases of suspicious activity involving a vehicle.

• 5 cases of suspicious activity involving a person.

• 4 non-reportable accidents (a non-reportable accident is where there are no injuries and all vehicles involved can be driven away. In this case the drivers involved are not required to report the accident to police).

• 1 reportable accident (where there are injuries and one or more of the vehicles involved cannot be driven away).

• 3 reported traffic complaints resulting in no arrest.

• 1 traffic complaint resulting in issuing a ticket.

• 1 public service call.

• 10 incidents where MPD assisted another agency, such as another police department, a fire department, or an emergency medical service.

• 7 reported cases of incidents involving illegal drugs.

• 3 cases of disorderly conduct.

• 1 requested check of a local business.

• 2 cases of false alarms involving a business.

• 2 cases of false alarms involving a residence.

• 3 requests to check a local residence.

• 1 case of criminal mischief.

• 2 cases of harassment.

• 2 cases of found property.

• 1 reported case of lost property.

• 3 cases involving theft, including one from a vehicle.

• 1 noise complaint.

• 1 case involving a man with a gun (which turned out to be unfounded, police said).

• 1 domestic disturbance call not resulting in an arrest.

• 1 domestic disturbance call resulting in an arrest.

• 1 case of serving a criminal warrant.

• 1 case of a missing person (adult).

• 1 case of a missing juvenile.

• 2 civil complaints.

• 2 reports of an abandoned vehicle.

• 1 incident involving an animal 

The rest of the incidents logged were routine in nature, such as phone calls and administrative tasks.

The weekly incident log does not include incidents reported to police through Dauphin County 911 dispatch, said Middletown Police Chief John Bey. The weekly log also does not include calls from county 911 involving juveniles that are “confidential in nature,” Bey said.

The following is a summary of major incidents for the week of Nov. 2-9:

Woman assaulted

A woman was assaulted by a man as she was walking her silver poodle in an alley behind the first block of North Union Street on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The incident was reported to police shortly after 6:45 p.m.

Police said the woman was assaulted by a man wearing a dark blue hoodie, jeans, and white sneakers. The man pushed the woman down and tried without success to steal her dog, police said.

The woman was treated at the scene for minor scrapes and abrasions. 

Assault arrest

Travis Cave, 29, of Derry Township, was charged with simple assault, tampering with evidence, possession of a controlled substance, public drunkenness and disorderly conduct following an incident in the first block of Genesis Court on Nov. 4.

Cave was freed after posting $10,000 unsecured bail and a preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 28 before Judy.

Football game arrest

Police arrested an unidentified juvenile for a physical assault that was reported during the Friday, Nov. 4 football game between Middletown High School and Steelton-Highspire High School at War Memorial Field in the 100 block of North Race Street.

The assault reportedly occurred at about 8:30 p.m., police said. No other details were provided.

Cellphone taken

A cellphone was reported taken from a vehicle that was parked in the 100 block of Ann Street at about 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Police have a suspect and the phone is in the process of being returned.

Handgun stolen

A silver and black Bersa model .380 caliber handgun was reported stolen from a residence in the 400 block of Apple Avenue. 

The theft was reported to police on Wednesday, Nov. 2. However, the victim told police she had not seen the handgun since Oct. 27.

Drug arrests

Two borough men were arrested on felony drug charges after police armed with a search warrant raided a home in the 300 block of South Wood Street on Thursday, Nov. 4.

Police said marijuana and drug paraphernalia was found in all four bedrooms of the residence. Police also found a scale and other evidence that the two men were involved in selling marijuana.

Emmanuel Jasiel Little, 19, was charged with proceeds of an unlawful act; manufacture, delivery or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; possessing an instrument of a crime, possessing a controlled substance, possession of marijuana; and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Little was freed after posting $50,000 unsecured bail. 

A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 8 before Judy.

Also arrested and charged was Jonathan Vanaskie, 22. Vanaskie was charged with manufacture, delivery, or possession with intent to manufacture or deliver; possession of marijuana, and use or possession of drug paraphernalia. He was freed after posting unsecured bail of $50,000.

Vanaskie waived a preliminary hearing and is to be arraigned on the charges in Dauphin County Court on Jan. 6.

Middletown police were assisted in the raid by police from Royalton, Highspire, and Lower Swatara Township.

Child assault arrest

State police in Harrisburg on Nov. 7 charged a Lycoming County man with assaulting his 5-year old daughter, who lives in the 3000 block of East Harrisburg Pike in Londonderry Township.

The assault was reported to Dauphin County Children and Youth by employees working at a school that the girl attended, police said. The assault allegedly occurred on Feb. 24, police said.

Jessie Lee Camp, 30, of Hughesville, is charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault involving a child, and endangering the welfare of children. He had not been taken into custody as of press time and no preliminary hearing has been set. 


Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 15:30

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Lower Swatara Twp. Police News 11/16/2016

Following is a compilation of reports from the Lower Swatara Twp. Police Department. Please be aware all those charged/cited are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

$2,500 and no camper

Police said a township resident thought he was buying a camper on Craigslist but ultimately discovered that he had been bilked out of $2,500.

Investigators report the victim told police he had found a camper for sale on the Internet site and decided to buy it for the asking price of $2,000. Police said pictures of the camper were included in the Craigslist ad along with an explanation that its owner needed to quickly sell the vehicle because they were leaving the country soon for a military posting in Japan. 

As part of completion of their purchase, the victim bought and sent four $500 Visa cards to the seller on Oct. 28. A notice was sent by the seller to the township resident that an additional $500 was needed to pay for shipment of the camper. 

The victim became suspicious after he had sent a fifth Visa card and received no other contact from the seller. Police were called into action Oct. 30 to investigate the matter.

Investigators said they have little hope the victim will be able to recover his money. Reportedly the victim contacted the credit card company he had used but was told nothing could be done.

Charged with assault

Mark Zeiders, 48, of the 1000 block of North Union Street, Middletown, has been charged with simple assault following a domestic disturbance between him and his girlfriend at their residence, police report. 

Police said Zeiders has been charged with grabbing the 26-year-old township resident by her neck, slamming her against a car and striking her in the face on Nov. 5. The victim refused an offer for medical attention.

Zeiders was taken into custody on Nov. 5, arraigned before District Judge Kenneth Lenker and placed in Dauphin County Prison after being unable to post $10,000 in cash bail, records noted. The accused is scheduled to appear before District Justice Michael Smith on Nov. 23 for a preliminary hearing on the charge.

DUI charge

Caryn Lubic, 26, of the 1000 block of Georgetown Road, Middletown, has been charged with two counts of DUI controlled substance and a single count of driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.02 or greater while having a suspended license, police report.

Lubic was arrested at 10:14 p.m. Oct. 14 following a traffic stop on Meade Avenue at West Harrisburg Pike, an arrest reported noted. The arresting officer said the accused was driving a 2012 Ford Focus and stopped because the car was being driven 5 to 8 mph below the road’s posted 25 mph limit. Reportedly an interview with Lubic turned into a DUI investigation, after which she was taken to the Dauphin County Judicial Center. 

Records noted a sample of Lubic’s blood as drawn to test for the possible presence of intoxicants. Results of the tests were not reported.

The accused is scheduled to appear before District Justice Michael Smith on Dec. 15 for a preliminary hearing on the charges.

2 bicycles stolen

Two bicycles were reported stolen from a home in the 20 block of Nelson Manor Lane on Oct. 24.

Police said the bikes were taken from a shed that was adjacent to the home. It was noted the shed was not locked at the time. One of the bicycles, a “Mongoose,” is black and white and was valued at $400. The second bike, a mountain bike style vehicle, is orange and valued at $150.

Police are asking anyone with information about the theft to contact them at 717-939-0463.

Cash, check, jewelry stolen

Loss was anticipated at more than $1,000 in a burglary at the Brookside Diner and Lounge, police reported.

Investigators believe the theft took place some time during the early morning hours of Oct. 24 at the business on South Eisenhower Boulevard. 

Although no signed of forced entry was found, police did say a closet in the business had been forced open. 

Police said cash, a check and a bracelet are among the items reported stolen but a complete inventory of what may have been taken has yet to be completed.

Police are asking anyone with information about the theft to contact them at 717-939-0463.

Xbox computer stolen

An Xbox computer valued at $400 was reported stolen from a township residence in the 10 block of Richard Avenue, police report.

The victim told police he believes it was stolen Nov. 5. Investigators said they don’t believe the home was broken into. They added that area retailers have been contacted to be on the lookout for the Xbox should someone attempt to sell it.

Police are asking anyone with information about the theft to contact them at 717-939-0463.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 15:19

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Copper burglar suspect arrested

A man believed responsible for “the vast majority” of copper burglaries from vacant homes in Middletown over the past several months has been arrested by borough police — along with a woman who police say aided the man in at least one of the thefts.jamesgoodlingWEB2James Goodling

James J. Goodling, 43, of Caravan Court, was arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and charged with four of the 14 copper burglaries that have occurred. He was placed in Dauphin County Prison after being unable to post $10,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 18 before District Judge David Judy. 

Police believe Goodling will eventually “be linked to the vast majority” of the 14 copper burglaries, Chief John Bey told the Press And Journal on Nov. 10.

The four burglaries Goodling is charged with occurred on Aug. 8, Sept. 5, Sept. 19 and Oct. 21, according to online court records. All four were vacant homes in the north side of Middletown, according to a press release put out by borough police on Nov. 9. 

Goodling has not confessed to any of the copper burglaries involving homes south of Main Street in Middletown — one of which occurred at a home on Race Street just a few doors up from the police station at Race and Emaus streets.

The 14 copper burglaries are among over 20 burglaries of homes throughout Middletown that have occurred since June. Police are investigating whether any of these other burglaries — beyond the 14 involving the theft of copper from vacant homes — can be linked to Goodling.

Goodling committed the thefts to support his heroin habit, Bey said. He would get about $80 by pawning the copper that he stole from each residence, police said.

The copper burglaries — most of which Goodling has yet to be charged with — were occurring about once a week. Police believe that Goodling was breaking into vacant homes and stealing just enough copper piping to support his heroin habit for a week, before he would need to find another home to break into, Bey said.

Goodling did not have a vehicle and committed the break-ins on foot. He would place the stolen copper in a duffel bag that he carried around with him, Bey said.

Goodling’s alleged crime wave shows how much cheaper it is to support a heroin habit today than in the past. In this area today a heroin habit can be supported by just $10 to $20 a day, compared to as much as $100 a day years ago, according to Richard Brandt, who in July retired as police chief of Lower Swatara Township. 

Goodling may have only been getting $80, but the 14 break-ins have caused thousands of dollars in damage to the vacant homes, police said.

In just the four vacant properties that Goodling has been charged with, the estimated damage from the break-ins totals more than $12,000, police said.

Police had been investigating the copper thefts for months. Many of the thefts were discovered by police checking utility records and then going to vacant properties where the water and electricity had been turned off. In September, police announced a $2,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the copper culprits.

Police had several suspects, but the break leading to Goodling came after police received a report of a table saw being stolen Oct. 21 from a residence in the 300 block of East High Street that was being renovated to be sold. 

The saw was pawned at a pawn shop on Walnut Street in Harrisburg. Documents from the transaction identified the seller as Danae Leeann Fox, 48, of the first block of Hummel Lane in Middletown, whom police say drove Goodling to the pawn shop. Video surveillance from the pawn shop also showed Fox with an unidentified male who turned out to be Goodling, police said. 

A search warrant of Goodling’s residence uncovered evidence tying Goodling to the four break-ins. “More (of the break-ins) will be solved as detectives sort through the evidence collected” from Goodling’s residence, police said in the press release said.

Fox was also arrested on Wednesday, Nov. 9, and has been charged with conspiracy to commit burglary, receiving stolen property, and theft by deception. She was freed after posting $25,000 unsecured bail and her preliminary hearing is set for Nov. 28.

Otherwise, the investigation into the copper burglaries is still ongoing and the $2,000 reward is still available, Bey said. Anyone with information is asked to call Middletown police at 717-902-0627 or 717-558-6900.

Police also advise residents “remain vigilant in reporting any suspicious activity in neighborhoods containing vacant houses.”

Last Updated on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 15:06

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