Newton and Ransom area residents on guard after Sunday evening burglary

By Elizabeth Baumeister - | April 5th, 2016 1:46 pm

RANSOM TWP. — Residents and township officials were asked by South Abington Township Police officer Henry Zimmer to be on the lookout for suspicious activity in the area during his report at the April 4 supervisors meeting.

The warning follows a burglary the evening before in the neighboring Newton Township.

Zimmer said the burglary occurred between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 3 at a residence on the corner of Milwaukee Road and Laurel Hill Road.

He said he was driving by at the time with his family and witnessed one of the perpetrators and a vehicle in the driveway.

“I know the (residents) personally, because I’m from the area,” he said. “Something told me to turn around and go back and make contact, but I was a little bit afraid with my family in the car. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Zimmer described the vehicle as a “small white pickup truck,” either Nissan or Toyota, with “large purple and blue stripes down the side of it.”

“The vehicle sticks right out,” he said. “You’re not going to miss this vehicle, believe me – that’s how noticeable this truck is. I don’t know why they would try to burglarize a house in the daylight in a truck looking like this.”

Supervisor David Bird said he also encountered the same vehicle on Sunday.

“I actually saw the truck and the individual up the road further,” he said. “He flagged me down. He said he was looking for gas, had to get back to Scranton.”

Bird said this interaction occurred farther up towards Bald Mountain Road.

He described the man he spoke with as about 5 feet, 11 inches tall, in his 20s, with a mustache and gray hoodie. Zimmer confirmed that matches the description of the man he saw as well.

Zimmer said two people were involved in the burglary and took “some stuff” from the house, but left bins behind, which they had filled with more items. He believes the burglars were “spooked” when he drove by.

“I was going real slow, because I knew it was out of the ordinary,” Zimmer said. “He (the man wearing a gray hoodie) was on a cell phone. So my thoughts are, he was telling the guy inside, ‘We better get out of here.’”

No description was given of the second perpetrator.

Zimmer said after he drove by the house, the truck headed down Coxton Road, where it came up on another vehicle in a hurry. Arriving in Pittston, it turned left at the intersection, toward the Duryea and Old Forge area.

Zimmer warned the residents not to approach the vehicle or its occupants if they spot it, but to attempt to obtain the licence plate number and report it to the police.

In other business:

• Robert and Roseanne Conner, new residents in the township, inquired about cleaning up the logs across Gardner Creek.

“I’ve heard in the past there have been problems with it damming up and all of a sudden it let loose and we’ve got this wall of water coming down,” he said. “We don’t want that to happen.”

He said he is willing to do his part to help out, but understands he can’t go on other people’s property.

Bird said the township has been aware of the problem for many years, but restrictions from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) prevent the municipality from being able to do anything about it.

• It was noted the municipality received its procurement cards for township employees from PLGIT, a municipal government bank.

Township secretary JoAnn Pane explained the purpose of these cards is to replace the township’s single credit card.

• The township recently purchased four 12-month CDs through PLGIT from the liquid fuels account.

• Bird gave the road report, stating the township is looking for volunteers to help with a cleanup on Snake Road, where numerous tires, old televisions and other garbage is scattered. He said illegal dumping is a major problem in the municipality.

• Newton Ransom Volunteer Fire Company Chief Jeff LaCoe reminded residents to call the Lackawanna County Communications Center in advance if they plan to conduct a burn.

• The township office will be closed April 18-20.

• The next regular township board of supervisors meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, May 2.

Police seek occupants of white truck with blue, purple stripes

By Elizabeth Baumeister

Reach Elizabeth Baumeister at 570-704-3943 or on Twitter @AbingtonJournal.