Farm owner snares pair during Salem stakeout
Two Westmoreland County men were jailed on prowling and attempted burglary charges after they were snared in a trap set by a Salem woman who said she grew tired of thieves stealing scrap metal from the family farm, according to state police.
Keith L. Jessman, 34, of Greensburg, and Dennis P. Zatezalo, 30, of Latrobe, were charged by state police at Kiski with conspiracy, attempted burglary, possessing instruments of crime, criminal trespass, loitering and prowling, and disorderly conduct after they were arrested shortly before 2 a.m. on Thursday near a farm along Route 819.
Trooper James Daggett reported in an affidavit of probable cause that the property owner, Amy Johnson, decided to “stake out” the property.
Daggett said Johnson and a male friend were hiding in bushes near a barn on the property early Thursday when they saw two men, Jessman and Zatezalo, carrying flashlights as they entered the barn. Johnson telephoned state police, who dispatched two troopers.
As troopers arrived, the two men ran from the barn and through a field in the direction of Johnson and her friend. When the two men surrendered, police confiscated knives from both.
Jessman told Daggett his pickup “truck had run out of gas and they were looking for a gas can.”
Jessman and Zatazalo were arraigned before Washington Township District Judge Jason Buczak and committed to the county jail after failing to post $50,000 bond each. Preliminary hearings are scheduled July 14 before Buczak.
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.