Neighbor Helps State Police Catch Burglar in the Act

| May 15, 2018

CRANBERRY TWP., Pa. (EYT) – An Oil City man is facing felony burglary and related charges after being caught breaking into a Cranberry Township residence on Sunday.

According to court documents, Franklin-based State Police filed the following criminal charges against 28-year-old Joshua Paul Harman, of Oil City:

– Burglary – Overnight Accommodation, No Person Present, Felony 1 (two counts)
– Criminal Trespass-Break Into Structure, Felony 2 (two counts)
– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Misdemeanor 2
– Receiving Stolen Property, Misdemeanor 2
– Unauthorized Use Motor/Other Vehicles, Misdemeanor 2

According to a criminal complaint, on Sunday, May 13, Trooper Johnson, of PSP Franklin, was dispatched to a residence on Main Street in Cranberry Township for a report of a possible burglary in progress. It was reported by a neighbor that he saw Joshua Harman enter the residence through a window and knew that Harman was not allowed at the house.

Upon arrival, Trooper Johnson noted there was a blue Dodge Neon parked in the driveway with a male seated in the driver’s seat. The man told Trooper Johnson that he drove Harman to the location to get money from his boss.

The complaint states that Trooper Johnson walked to the rear porch area and observed a window laying on the porch, along with several screws, a screwdriver, and an iPad. All of the doors to the residence were locked. Trooper Johnson then yelled for anyone inside the house to come out, several times, with no response. He then requested backup and several other troopers responded, as well as officers from the Oil City Police Department.

According to the complaint, after several more attempts, Harman came out of the house and was taken into custody without incident.

During the investigation, it was learned that the house was rented by Harman’s mother, and on May 3, he was told he’s not welcome at the house by both his mother and the state police.

Harman’s mother told Trooper Haun that on the night of Wednesday, May 9, Harman showed up at the house wanting food. She said she did not allow him in the house but did give him food on the porch before going to bed. She stated that when she awoke on Thursday, May 10, she found Harman sleeping in her vehicle. She then left for an appointment, and when she returned, her 2001 Nissan Rogue was gone, the window was removed from the back porch area, and an iPad tablet was missing from inside the residence. She said that she texted Harman and told him to return the vehicle, which he did on Friday, May 11, according to the complaint.

Trooper Johnson interviewed Harman at PSP Franklin on Sunday, May 13, after reading him his Miranda Warnings.

Harman stated that he knew he wasn’t allowed at the residence. He said he tried the doors to the residence first and found them locked, so he decided to go in through the window. Harman claimed he went to the residence to give his mother a Mother’s Day gift and return the iPad he stole. He said he was hoping to get money from his mother, but wasn’t going to steal anything. Harman told Trooper Johnson that he didn’t come out when police were yelling for him because he was scared. Harman also admitted to sleeping in his mother’s car and taking it the next day for an oil change, the complaint states.

Based on the investigation, Harman was arraigned at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday, May 13, in Magisterial District Judge Matthew T. Kirtland’s office.

Unable to post $50,000.00 monetary bail, he was lodged in the Venango County Jail.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, with Judge Kirtland presiding.

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