North Strabane Township police arrested two Houston men early Tuesday after getting calls about vehicles being entered in the Meadowbrook plan.
Jarrad Anthony Wise, 18, of 115 Second St., and Mitchell Ward Conklin, 28, of 543 Railroad St., were taken into custody on Fieldbrook Drive. Both had items that appeared to have been stolen from vehicles parked in the area.
North Strabane police received several reports last week that several unlocked vehicles were entered and items stolen. The complaints came from residents of several streets in the plan, including Meadowbrook and Royal drives.
Officers Michael Miller and Dustin Koch were dispatched about 4:45 p.m. to Meadowlake Court after two white men were seen breaking into vehicles.
When the officers arrived, they were told the suspects walked into a wooded area off Fieldbrook and it appeared they tried to break into a home. Police were then told the two men were walking on Fieldbrook.
Police found Wise and Conklin, who claimed they were looking for their dog. Conklin, who appeared sweaty and nervous, agreed to allow Koch to search him. The officer found $10 in change, a small LED flashlight and 12-ounce bag of SweetTarts candy.
When Miller approached Wise, he saw him with a black backpack. Wise also was wearing a purple latex glove on his right hand.
Wise agreed to allow Miller to search the backpack. The officer found an iPad Mini, iPhone, two prescription bottles, credit cards, cellphone, knives, flashlights and wristwatches. Police said Wise could not explain how he came into possession of the items.
Both were arraigned before District Judge Jay Weller on charges of theft from a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, possessing instruments of a crime and loitering and prowling at night. Wise was also arraigned on a charge of receiving stolen property filed by Chartiers Township police after he was found with a stolen motorcycle earlier this month.
During his arraignment, Wise told Weller he went out for a walk. Miller told Weller Wise was wearing an electronic bracelet on his ankle. He is reportedly on probation for several offenses.
“I hope you come up with a better defense at your preliminary,” Weller said.
North Strabane police Detective John Wybranowski said police are exploring whether the two are responsible for the previous thefts. “The guys on patrol did a really good job,” Wybranowski said. “We rely on these guys who are out on the street.”
Wise was placed in Washington County jail on $50,000 bond. Conklin was released on a $10,000 unsecured bond.