Report of ‘suspicious bicyclist’ in Hempfield leads to arrest by troopers |
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Paul Peirce

A man riding a bicycle through a Hempfield neighborhood before dawn Friday allegedly entered unlocked vehicles and took items, including a handgun, state police at Greensburg reported.

Troopers arrested Douglas A. Bartrug, 32, of Pittsburgh, at 3:50 a.m. in the Farmbrook Drive area of Fort Allen after he was discovered with multiple “miscellaneous items,” including a .380 caliber handgun that troopers claim he removed from an unlocked pickup truck, according to court documents.

Police were dispatched to the area for a report of a suspicious man “wearing a brown jacket and backpack” who was bicycling through the neighborhood in the vicinity of Swede Hill Road and Farmbrook Drive, Trooper Evan Terek reported in court papers filed before District Judge Mark Mansour. A woman reported that she believed he was breaking into vehicles.

Troopers searched the area and discovered the bicyclist along Farmbrook Road, Terek reported.

“A trooper pulled his marked state police vehicle in front of the suspect but the suspect went around the patrol vehicle. (The troopers) identified themselves, and the suspect said he was not doing anything wrong and just continued riding his bicycle,” Terek wrote.

When police again tried to stop Bartrug and take him into custody, he dropped his bicycle at the bottom of the hill near Wheatfield Drive and ran, leaving behind a plastic bag, Terek reported.

Police apprehended Bartrug in a nearby stream and discovered the stolen handgun on the ground nearby, Terek reported. Multiple items, including identification and shopping cards belonging to people in the neighborhood, were discovered in the plastic bag, police said.

Bartrug, who used to live in Hempfield, pleaded guilty in 2008 to possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and was sentenced to serve three years in prison. Due to the felony conviction, it is illegal for him to possess a firearm, Terek said.

Police also found Bartrug’s pickup truck parked in the vicinity.

Bartrug is charged with illegal possession of a firearm, theft, receiving stolen property, theft from a motor vehicle and loitering and prowling. According to online dockets, Bartrug was ordered held in the Westmoreland County Prison after failing to post $100,000 bail. A preliminary hearing is scheduled March 1 before Mansour.

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