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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted 8/7/19

Boy, 17, admits role in Amtrak break-ins; will also face charges in library burglaries and other crimes

A 17-year-old Royalton boy will face charges on a string of summertime burglaries, vandalism …

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From the Vault: News from the Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2009, edition of the Press & Journal

Posted

Boy, 17, admits role in Amtrak break-ins; will also face charges in library burglaries and other crimes

A 17-year-old Royalton boy will face charges on a string of summertime burglaries, vandalism and thefts in the Middletown area, according to borough police.

Solid detective work and tips from Press & Journal readers helped police identify the youth, said Middletown Detective David Sweitzer.

According to police, the boy confessed to breaking into vehicles at the Middletown Amtrak station parking lot, stealing a car parked outside the Middletown Public Library, two burglaries at the library, and vandalizing a concession stand at Kiwanis Park.

The juvenile was taken to the Hebert Schaffner Youth Center in Steelton, where he is expected to be charged with multiple counts of burglary and theft.

“He had no remorse for what he did,” said Middletown Detective Mark Hovan, who, along with Sweitzer, investigated the Amtrak break-ins.

The youth was taken into custody at 12:53 a.m. Aug. 11 in the 400 block of East Main Street when police pulled him over for driving without headlights.

“The officer noticed that the driver was very nervous when he approached the vehicle,” Sweitzer said.

After running the license plate through vehicle registration, police identified the car as the one reported stolen from the library the day before.

“The officers ordered the driver of the vehicle out of the car at gunpoint,” Sweitzer said.

A 17-year-old female passenger, also of Royalton, was temporarily taken into custody, and later released when police determined she was unaware the vehicle was stolen.

The boy told police he was in the library Aug. 10 and saw a set of keys on the floor. According to police, he took the vehicle key off of the keychain and attempted to open every car on Catherine Street until he found the car.

The boy told police that he took the car around 3 p.m. and drove around town, before taking it to the Fuzzy Few Organization carnival in Hummelstown where he picked up the girl.

Police said the boy matched the descriptions of a “person of interest” in the other crimes provided by the members of the public who read about the Amtrak break-ins and library burglaries in the newspaper.

Upon questioning, the youth admitted to committing those crimes, Sweitzer said.

The Middletown Public Library, 20 N. Catherine St., was burglarized on June 22 and June 27. Missing items included a computer, and $82 in cash taken from the register.

“We recovered the computer that was stolen from the library at the juvenile’s home,” said Sweitzer.

Hovan was also able to match fingerprints taken from the vehicles at the Amtrak station with the juvenile.

Five cars were broken into between 5:30 p.m. July 20 and 7 a.m. July 21 at the Amtrak station located on Mill Street. Several cars were pried open and the steering columns damaged in an attempt to take them, police said. Some items were also missing from the vehicles, police said.

The juvenile also admitted to committing vandalism at Kiwanis Park on July 14 where it was reported that the concession stand at the park had been broken into.

Pennsylvania State Police responded to a call made by borough employees who noticed a window was broken into overnight in the concession stand and someone discharged a fire extinguisher inside, police said.

Taste of Middletown offered best from local restaurants

More than 360 people sampled food from local businesses and restaurants at Seven Sorrows Blessed Virgin Mary School for their Taste of Middletown.

“I was very happy that so many people from the community turned out today. We were pleasantly surprised,” said Mary Ellen Stonehill, chairwoman of the event.

Stonehill sits on the school’s development committee as well as being an active member of the church and having a child that goes to the school.

The school just finished most of the work on the new building and decided to hold an event to welcome the public and give them a chance to see the new building.

“We want to show everyone that we have a great school,” said Michelle Berrones, chairwoman of the development committee.

The event featured food from Giant Foods, the Blue Room, the Lamp Post Inn, Brownstone Café, Kuppy’s Diner, Karn’s, Midtown Pizza, Fuddrucker’s, Rita’s Italian Ice, La Piazza, and Chatterbox Café. Many of the businesses ran out of food by 1 p.m.

MAHS school gets a ‘green’ light from PPL

Let there be light, more efficient light that is.

Pennsylvania Power and Light Co. has partnered with Lutron Electronics Co., Inc. to help school districts conserve energy by covering the cost of installing energy efficient flourescent lights.

Crews installed the new lighting in the gym and two classrooms of Middletown Area High School last week.

“Lighting accounts for more than half of electricity use in the nation’s schools,” said Jim Nulton, regional director of community relations for PPL. “Today’s technology offers schools an opportunity to achieve long-term savings.”