New Charges Filed Against Shippenville Man Accused of Multiple Vehicle Thefts

| April 6, 2018

WARREN CO., Pa. (EYT) – New charges have been filed against a Shippenville man accused of a string of vehicle thefts stretching from Erie to Clarion County.

According to Warren-based State Police, around 10:30 a.m. on Friday, March 2, 55-year-old Bruce E. Smith, of Shippenville, was driving northbound on Davey Hill Road and was unable to stop before striking a downed tree which was lying across the roadway.

Smith was transported to Hamot Medical Center via helicopter for advanced medical treatment.

He was later released.

A search warrant was obtained for the medical records and BAC, and Smith was found to be under the influence of alcohol.

Warren-based State Police filed the following criminal charges against Smith in Magisterial District Judge Todd A. Woodin’s office on Tuesday, March 27:

– DUI: General Impairment/Incompetent of Driving Safely – First Offense, Misdemeanor
– DUI: Highest Rate of Alcohol (BAC .16+) 1st Offense, Misdemeanor
– Unauthorized Use Motor/Other Vehicles, Misdemeanor 2
– Driving W/O A License, Summary
– Driving While Operator Privilege Suspended Or Revoked, Summary
– Driving at Safe Speed, Summary
– Depositing Waste On Hwy, Summary
– Careless Driving, Summary
– Restrictions on Alcoholic Beverages, Summary
– Operating Vehicle W/O Valid Inspect, Summary

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 2, with Judge Woodin presiding.

Clarion County Case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 10:31 a.m. on Monday, March 5, Troopers Lingle and Norbert were dispatched to Creekside Service located on Buckhorn Road in Elk Township for a report of a stolen S-10 truck. During the investigation, a white GMC box van was located at the scene. It was learned that the Erie Police Department reported the van stolen.

Trooper Lingle requested PSP Clarion issue a BOLO to all surrounding stations and law enforcement agencies with a description of the stolen S-10 truck. PSP Clarion was then contacted by Marienville PSP advising that they had located a tan Chevy S10 crashed over an embankment near West Hickory in Forest County.

According to Marienville-based State Police, the truck overturned after hitting an embankment, and Smith fled the scene on foot. Prior to the crash, Smith allegedly stole a license plate from Cook Forest Canoe Rental and displayed it on the stolen vehicle.

Marienville PSP reported that during the investigation of the crashed S-10, they discovered a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado was stolen from a residence located near the scene of the crash. A BOLO was then issued for the Silverado to all surrounding stations and law enforcement agencies, the complaint states.

Around 12:48 p.m., PSP Clarion received a call advising that an unknown man with blood on his face was driving a red Chevy truck at the Walmart parking lot. Trooper Lingle and additional PSP members responded to the area and conducted a search with no results.

A request was made to local law enforcement to watch for the suspect vehicle. During a search of the area, Trooper Hotchkiss observed the suspect vehicle stopped at the intersection of Corbett Street and Greenville Avenue in Clarion Borough. He followed the suspect vehicle and verified it as the stolen vehicle. Then, he conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle along Grand Avenue, and upon arrival of additional law enforcement members, the driver, Bruce Smith, was removed from the vehicle and placed in custody.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith had a heavy odor of alcohol emanating from his breath, and an open bottle of Crown Royal was found inside the truck.

Smith was transported to Clarion Hospital where he was treated for a head injury. He was also administered a BAC test.

While at the hospital, Smith allegedly admitted to police that he stole all three vehicles, according to the criminal complaint.

The following charges were filed against Smith in District Magistrate Duane L. Quinn’s office on March 5:

– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 2
– Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 2 (three counts)
– DUI: General Impairment/Incompetent of Driving Safely – First Offense, Misdemeanor
– Unauthorized Use Motor/Other Vehicles, Misdemeanor 2
– Driving While Operator Privilege Suspended Or Revoked, Summary

Smith waived his preliminary hearing and the case has been transferred to the Clarion County Court of Common Pleas.

Smith is lodged in the Clarion County Jail on $50,000.00 monetary bail.

A criminal conference is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on May 9 with District Attorney Mark T. Aaron.

There are no published court documents in Erie or Forest Counties regarding these incidents at this time.


Shippenville Man Faces Charges in String of Vehicle Thefts

UPDATE: Shippenville Man Admits to Stealing Vehicles

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