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Tyrone PD has busy Memorial Day weekend; rash of car break-ins and home burglaries plague borough

The Tyrone Borough Police Department didn’t rest over this past Memorial Day weekend that is designated to honor those who have died while defending the United States of America.
Over 40 incidents were responded to from Friday, May 23 to Monday, May 26, which included 10 incidents pertaining to a rash of vehicular break-ins and home burglaries where numerous items were stolen from residents.
Tyrone Borough Police Chief Joe Beachem thinks that the ten reported incidents could be tied together, and possibly drug-abuse fueled.
One of the first incidents related to the break-ins was responded to by police on Saturday, May 24. Officer Nathaniel Smith was flagged down by West 19th Street resident Scott Beers, who stated that he had confronted an intoxicated male who was peering into his father’s red Jeep on West 19th Street, west of Adams Avenue around 1 a.m.
The unknown male was described to be approximately six feet, two inches, average build, bearded, and was last seen wearing a green field jacket.
Although it is not known if the subject is related to the recent car or home burglaries, over the night of Sunday, May 25 and early Monday, May 26, produced numerous reports of car and home invasions.
Borough 4th Street resident Terry Hyde reported to police that items were removed from his unlocked Chevrolet Blazer parked in his garage. Such items included a cell phone, a black wallet containing a $50 bill, a set of keys, another wallet containing $50 in miscellaneous bills, and a container with approximately $30 in change.
Hyde’s set of keys, the black wallet minus the $50 bill, and his cell phone were later recovered at the south end of Madison Avenue, near the residence of Denise Kreckel, who also reported a break-in.
Kreckel reported that her Subaru Forester was entered overnight and ransacked. She stated that her vehicle was also unlocked and that the unknown actor(s) rummaged through it. All of the items missing were located at the end of Elm Street. The only item not recovered was the registration card for the vehicle.
In another report, Officer Greg Ray stated that he was walking to work on May 26 and located a wallet and contents scattered around in the 600 block of Garden Alley. The wallet belonged to Todd Hamer and was later found to be taken from his Dodge Intrepid parked at 660 Washington Avenue. Hamer was advised of the incident, and he told police that a bottle of the drug Xanax, containing around 30 tablets, was also missing from his vehicle.
Police also responded to another incident on Garden Alley, where an officer noticed the driver’s side door of a vehicle parked was hanging open. The vehicle belonged to Dale Frye, but he told police that he found nothing missing.
Among other car break-in reports, the police also responded to two home burglaries. On May 24, police were dispatched to 1308 Lincoln Avenue for a complaint by Dave Hoover that someone had broken into his residence. Police said that when he and his wife came home they noticed that their dogs were missing, the basement window was broken, and that their back door was open.
The dogs were later recovered near a neighbor’s house, but nothing was reported stolen from the Hoover residence.
On May 26, Brandin Walk of 1412 Bald Eagle Avenue, reported to police that he had come home and found that some items had been missing from his home. Walk noticed a kitchen cupboard door was hanging wide open where approximately 54 tablets of the drug Vicodin had been stolen.
Walk also found that his girlfriend’s purse was missing from behind the couch, belonging to Margaret Stiver, which contained numerous bank cards including a child support card with $6,700 in it. He also noticed that a jewelry box in the upstairs bedroom had numerous items of jewelry missing.
Police removed the lid of the jewelry box, due to possible latent fingerprints.
Beachem thinks the car break-in incidents “definitely appear to be related,” and he couldn’t rule out the possibility that the home burglaries could be tied in as well. He said most cases like car burglaries are substance abuse related, and since the one home burglary had Vicodin stolen, along with the Xanax stolen in one of the vehicle burglaries, those connections “can’t discount that this is probably drug related.”
Beachem wanted to inform borough residents that they should secure their vehicles by locking the doors, and by taking all valuables out of the vehicle and securing them in a proper location. He said that homes should also be secured when incidents like this are happening in the area.
“These things do come in strings,” said Beachem. “We ask neighbors to look out for neighbors. If you see anything suspicious at all, call us – it could be the break we need.”
Some residents may think locking their vehicle is pointless because if a thief wants something, he or she will simply break out the window if the car is locked. But, Beachem said that is not always the case, because breaking a window causes unwanted noise by a burglar.
“If it’s related to a drug habit, that can be an expensive habit,” added Beachem. “They’re out there trying to find anything of value. If it’s not drug related, they’re looking for anything of value for a reason that they can’t afford something in their life – more often than not, it’s some type of substance addiction.”
Thus far, police have no solid leads in the recent burglaries, but Beachem noted that fingerprints were lifted from the one home burglary on Bald Eagle Avenue. He said there are some other things police are looking at to try to develop more leads.
“My experience has showed that for all the ones that are reported, there are a few that don’t make it to us,” stated Beachem. “We just ask everybody to be diligent, and if you see anything suspicious, call us immediately, or call 9-1-1.”
(Editor’s note: See page two for additional police reports pertaining to the incidents, along with other reports issued over the weekend.)