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Burglary suspect charged in Hempfield heist

Paul Peirce
| Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, 12:01 a.m.

A man charged with stealing more than $58,000 worth of items in a home burglary last month in North Huntingdon was arraigned Tuesday on charges related to a burglary in Hempfield on Dec. 19 that netted more than $10,000 worth of goods, including a pickup truck.

Tyler Lee Williams, 21, formerly of the West Hills Drive Apartment complex in Hempfield, was arraigned on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft, criminal mischief and conspiracy filed by state police in connection with a break-in along Austin Drive.

Police said the thieves loaded three flat-screen televisions, two laptop computers and three purses into the victim's 2008 Honda Ridgeline pickup truck and drove away.

Trooper Ray Andrekanic reported that Williams was assisted in the 2 a.m. burglary by a teenager, who has been charged in juvenile court.

Williams and the teen entered the victim's home by breaking a window on a sport utility vehicle parked outside and accessing a garage door opener, Andrekanic wrote in the affidavit of probable cause.

“(The teenager) related that he and Williams went into the residence and stole various items. ... He stated that Williams stole flat-screen televisions that he placed in the victim's truck. The juvenile stated there was a Honda Ridgeline pickup truck (in the garage) with the keys in it,” Andrekanic wrote.

Police spotted the stolen pickup outside a Jeannette residence about 24 hours after the burglary and had it under surveillance. Andrekanic said the teenager admitted to the theft when he was stopped as he drove the vehicle away from the residence

Williams was arraigned Tuesday before Hempfield District Judge Mark Mansour, who doubled Williams' bond to $100,000. He remains in the county prison.

In the North Huntingdon burglary, which occurred just a few hours after the Hempfield break-in, Williams and the teenager are accused by township Detective William Henderson of stealing multiple items, including electronics, a 2011 Toyota van and a 2009 Toyota Camry.

Township police said they tied Williams to that theft because once the vehicles were recovered, the elderly victims discovered a greeting card in the van congratulating Williams on his 21st birthday. The envelope bore his address.

Authorities said police are investigating whether Williams, the teenager, and an 18-year-old Greensburg area woman who allegedly drove the pair to the burglaries are responsible for residential and vehicle thefts in Murrysville and Fox Chapel. The female accomplice has not been charged.

Paul Peirce is a reporter for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at ppeirce@tribweb.com or 724-850-2860.

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