Harrison man out on bond on robbery charge accused of shoplifting, smashing pumpkins
A Harrison man who was free on bond after being accused of committing two Dauphin County robberies is one of two men and two youths charged with shoplifting BB guns and destroying pumpkins in the township early Tuesday.
Nathan Strausser, 24, of 10th Avenue and Kyron Branch, 18, of Park Avenue, both of Natrona Heights, and two juveniles are accused of smashing gourds and pumpkins at Bachman’s Nursery on Freeport Road.
Chief Mike Klein said Patrolman Ken Hanzlik remembered seeing four youths Monday night before the damage was reported to police. According to Klein, the four avoided Hanzlik but they made him suspicious.
Hanzlik and Sgt. Brian Turack next saw the four walking up Freeport Road toward the Walmart store in the Highland Mall.
Klein said Hanzlik watched from a concealed location at Walmart and saw the four leave just after 1 a.m.
Officers stopped them after they ran through numerous backyards. Police reported they found the four in the parking lot of Central Medical Associates.
Strausser allegedly had a backpack containing CO2 cartridges, BBs and two BB pistols. A third BB gun was found in Branch’s waistband and a fourth BB gun was found under a parked car , police said. The CO2 cartridges are used in a BB gun to propel the BBs.
The stolen BB guns and other items were valued by Walmart at about $144.
Branch was released pending trial for misdemeanor and summary charges.
Strausser was previously arrested by Harrison police for shoplifting a ski mask. Police learned he is one of three men charged in the Harrisburg area in connection with three robberies in August 2018.
Dauphin County District Attorney Stephen R. Zawisky said Strausser and another man ran into stores at the behest of the third man to rob the stores.
“The clerk laughed at Strausser and the obvious toy he held and he ran back out,” the DA said.
Strausser posted bond and was scheduled to appear in Dauphin County Court in October to make a plea in the case, Zawisky said.
He said Strausser’s bond status is under review in Dauphin County.
Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .