4 charged in Upper Burrell burglaries

| Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, 12:46 a.m.

Four people have been charged in connection with daylight burglaries committed in Upper Burrell during the summer.

Upper Burrell police said the four are:

• Charles “Chad” Edwards Jr., 28, of 208 Easy St., Upper Burrell.

• Edward Adams III, 29, of 209 Dewey Drive, Upper Burrell.

• Randy Carl Shank, 28,of 3348 Milligantown Road, Upper Burrell

• Shawn Michael Nedley, 25, of 120 Kunkle Road, Lower Burrell.

Upper Burrell police Chief Ken Pate said that Edwards was charged in two burglaries at the same house along Merwin Road and another burglary along Easy Street.

Adams participated in one of the Merwin Road burglaries, and Shank was involved in the other one, police claim.

According to the police, Nedley was not involved with the other three suspects and is accused of committing a burglary along Baxter Drive by himself.

Pate said at least two other burglary cases from this summer have not been solved, one on Dewey Street and one on Schafer Drive.

He said Edwards was charged with three counts each of burglary, theft and receiving stolen property and two counts of criminal mischief. Pate said Edwards appeared before District Judge Cheryl Peck-Yakopec for a hearing on Tuesday and agreed to a plea arrangement with the Westmoreland County District Attorney's Office.

Under that agreement, he said Edwards would serve two to four years in a state prison in exchange for cooperating with the police.

Edwards is in the Westmoreland County jail pending court action on his case.

Items taken in the three burglaries included Xbox, Wii and PlayStation 3 video game systems, an unspecified amount of coins kept in two large glass jugs, a Vivitar digital camera, gold and silver jewelry.

Police said Edwards told them he used the proceeds from the burglaries to support his heroin addiction.

According to arrest papers, police said that in the process of investigating burglaries in the township from June through August, Edwards became a suspect. One of the burglaries was on Easy Street near his father's home, police said.

When he was questioned on Aug. 15, he admitted to committing the Easy Street burglary on July 18, police said.

Police say he also admitted to committing burglaries at a house in the 600 block of Merwin Road on June 18 and Aug. 2.

Edwards provided details about all three burglaries that only someone who was involved could have known, police said.

According to arrest papers, Edwards said during the course of his questioning that he contacted Shank for a ride on Aug. 2 and was picked up by Shank and his girlfriend in her car.

He said they drove him to the Merwin Road address but stayed in the car while he committed the burglary, and then drove him to Community Market in Lower Burrell where he exchanged coins taken in the burglary for dollar bills.

Police said Shank was questioned on Aug. 27. He admitted to his involvement in the Aug. 2 burglary, and his statement was consistent with Edwards', police said.

On Wednesday, Shank, who is in the Westmoreland County jail in lieu of bond, was charged with one count each of conspiracy and receiving stolen property. His girlfriend was not charged.

Police said that during their investigation they discovered some of the stolen jewelry had been to a gold dealer in Harrison. They said they obtained a pawn slip that contained a photo of the jewelry, which the owner later identified, and also an image of Adams' drivers license and his signature.

Adams, who is at large, also was charged Wednesday with one count each of burglary, conspiracy, criminal trespass, theft and receiving stolen property.

Nedley faces charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft and receiving stolen property in connection with a July 31 burglary.

Police said $1,800 in money and jewelry were taken in that burglary along Baxter Drive.

According to those arrest papers, police investigated a burglary July 20 along Schafer Drive in which cash and jewelry were taken.

A neighbor told the police that around that date she found a man looking in her front window and confronted him. He told her that he was looking for a friend's house and left when she ordered him off the property.

As he was leaving, police said, she copied down the license number of his vehicle, described as a small champagne-colored SUV.

Police said they found the vehicle was registered to Nedley's parents, and the witness identified him from a photo line-up.

The police said their investigation revealed that Nedley was selling jewelry to several gold and silver brokers. They obtained pawn slips from them to verify it.

When they were called to investigate the Baxter Drive burglary, police said they found a footprint on a chair that was used to get in through window.

On Sept. 6, Upper Burrell police said they were contacted by Lower Burrell detectives who said they located the stolen Baxter Drive jewelry while investigating another burglary.

They said they identified the seller, through pawn slips, as Shawn Nedley and also found a footprint at the crime scene that appeared to be the same as the one on Baxter Drive.

Police said during a search of Nedley's residence they found a pair of shoes that had the same tread pattern.

Tom Yerace is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4675 or tyerace@tribweb.com.

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