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Footprints in snow lead troopers to sleeping suspect near Indiana

Paul Peirce
| Thursday, March 8, 2018, 10:39 a.m.

State troopers said they were able to track a suspected vandal through the snow early Thursday near Indiana because of his distinctive boot prints and found him asleep inside a vehicle he entered.

Frank D. Romano, 20, of Blairsville, was arrested on charges carrying a firearm without a license, theft from a motor vehicle, criminal mischief and criminal trespass.

Police from the Indiana station reported they were called to the 700 block of North Fourth Avenue in White Township about 3:21 a.m. to investigate a criminal mischief incident in which a mirror had been broken off a parked Ford Escape.

“Troopers then followed a set of distinct work boot prints in the snow that led them to a parked 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee. Troopers then discovered (Romano), who appeared to be asleep while sitting in the driver's seat,” said Trooper Cliff Greenfield.

Greenfield said that after he was awakened, troopers discovered he had a loaded 9mm handgun. Police said the owner of the Jeep said she had not given Romano permission to enter the vehicle.

Trooper Gregory Lenz reported that troopers followed more boot tracks to a third vehicle parked nearby on Josephine Avenue in Indiana where the door of a 1997 Cadillac was ajar. Police said the 67-year-old woman who owned the car said three compact discs were taken from it.

District Judge Guy Haberl ordered Romano be held in the county jail after he failed to post $10,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing March 21.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2860, or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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