A New York City man failed in an attempt to convince police he was at Fletcher’s Outdoor Power Equipment Co. in Delmont on Sunday to check on the well being of his father, who he said worked there.
Borough police arrested Elquan D. Jones, 26, of Brooklyn, after officers called the owners of the Route 66 business and learned his father was not an employee.
“I think (Jones) picked out the business to burglarize thinking that this area is too rural to have its own police force. I think he was surprised when we arrived there so quickly,” police Chief T.J. Klobucar said.
Jones was arraigned Tuesday on two counts each of burglary, car theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespassing. District Judge Charles R. Conway deemed Jones a flight risk and ordered he be held in the county jail without bail, according to court dockets.
Officer Greg Stull reported in court documents he responded to a burglar alarm call at Fletcher’s and discovered a black, 2018 Nissan sedan parked near the service entrance of the closed business. Stull said no one appeared inside the business. As the officer waited for registration and ownership information on the Nissan, a gray Chevrolet Cobalt with no registration plate pulled in with a man driving who said his father, Corey Jones, worked at Fletcher’s.
Stull said the man told him his father had asked him to “check on an emergency” at the business.
“I asked him whose black Nissan with Tennessee registration that was there and he said he did not know,” Stull reported.
In the meantime, Klobucar called business owner Frank Fletcher, who reported he had no employee by the name of Corey Jones “and no one should have been in the building.”
When Fletcher arrived, officers looked at video surveillance tapes and saw Elquan Jones, who was driving the Cobalt, was the person who drove the Nissan to the business and unsuccessfully attempted to enter by breaking out a window with a hammer.
After the alarm went off and police were on their way, Stull said the video showed Jones run over a nearby hillside, across Route 66, to Heckman’s Auto Sales, where police said he stole the Cobalt.
Police learned the Nissan was reported stolen from Hertz in New York.
“We’re still investigating this. We’re getting a search warrant to see what else may have been inside that Nissan,” Klobucar said.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled Sept. 24.