‘Jackpot Jacker’ Crime Spree Update: Alleged Accomplices Charged

| February 25, 2023

CLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – The Clarion Borough Police Department has filed theft and related charges against two alleged accomplices in the now-infamous “Jackpot Jacker” crime spree.

Court documents indicate that the Clarion Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 23-year-old Mackenzie Renay Elder, of Clarion, and 26-year-old Devin Rai Schrecengost, of Bruin, Butler County, in Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn’s office.

According to a new criminal complaint released on February 23, Mackenzie Elder and Devin Schrecengost reportedly assisted in the crime spree allegedly committed by John Aiken Blair III, aka the “Jackpot Jacker.”

Both Elder and Schrecengost were arraigned in Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn’s office.

Elder faces the following charges:

  • Conspiracy – Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 3
  • Conspiracy – Criminal Mischief – Damage Property, Felony 3
  • Conspiracy – Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 3
  • Criminal Use Of Communication Facility, Felony 3

Unable to post a $5,000 monetary bail, she was lodged in the Clarion County Jail.

Elder’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for February 28 at 9:15 a.m. with Judge Quinn presiding.

Schrecengost faces the following charges:

  • Conspiracy – Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 3
  • Conspiracy – Criminal Mischief – Damage Property, Felony 3
  • Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 3
  • Possession Instrument Of Crime W/Intent, Misdemeanor 1

He is currently free on $10,000.00 unsecured bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 7 at 1:45 p.m. in front of Judge Quinn.

Case Background

Crime #1 – 24-Hour Laundry in Shippenville, Paint Township, Clarion County

A criminal complaint submitted by Clarion-based State Police on February 22, and released on Monday, February 23, stated the following:

On January 25, PSP Clarion received a report that a PA skill machine located inside the 24-Hour Laundry, in Shippenville, Paint Township, Clarion County, had been broken into. Upon a PSP Clarion Trooper’s arrival, he observed the padlock on the skill machine to be broken.

Upon reviewing the surveillance footage from the 24-Hour Laundry, the actor can be seen entering the 24-Hour Laundry at 11:14 p.m. hours on January 23 wearing a black hooded sweatshirt, dark gray pants, and red/white shoes. The actor then exits the 24-Hour Laundry and gets into a White Kia bearing a known PA Registration number.

The vehicle turns left onto Route 322 at approximately 11:22 p.m. on January 23. At approximately 11:59 p.m. on January 23, an individual wearing a black jacket, gray pants, and red/white shoes walked to the front of the building from the rear of the building and entered the 24-Hour Laundry. This individual walked to the bathroom and stood in the bathroom with the door open before sitting down at the skill machine at 12:20 a.m. on January 24. The individual then is located at the skill machine for approximately 50 minutes before exiting the 24-Hour Laundry and returning to the rear of the building.

The actor, later identified as John Blair, was interviewed at the PSP Clarion Barracks on February 7 regarding this incident. During the interview, Blair admitted to breaking the lock using two wrenches and then stealing the money from the skill machine once it was opened.

Crime #2 – 37 South 5th Avenue, in Clarion Borough

A criminal complaint submitted by the Clarion Borough Police Department on February 22, and released on February 23 stated the following:

On Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 7:28 a.m., Clarion County 9-1-1 dispatched the Clarion Borough Police Department for a theft reported at the skills game shop located at 37 South 5th Avenue. An officer arrived on the scene and spoke to one of the owners.

The owner advised that he arrived to check on the location and observed that the machine in the back that holds the money was broken into. He stated that he got on his phone to review the security cameras. Using his phone, an individual is observed wearing gloves and coverings on his face in the room with the machine. The male entered this room at approximately 6:18 a.m. The male first spray paints the three security cameras in this room with suspected red spray paint. He then sprayed the camera on the machine itself. The paint did not do a great job of obscuring the lenses of the cameras, and the individual can still be observed.

After spraying the cameras, the individual is observed prying open the bottom of the machine that holds the cash. The machine display showed that $8,037.00 was taken from the bottom of the machine. The male took the money trays and all from the bottom of the machine.

Another officer arrived on the scene, and Chief Peck was notified of the situation.

An officer took pictures of the cameras that were painted, the damage to the machine (pry marks), the amount displayed on the machine, and several angles of the room for context.

On Saturday, January 28, 2023, at 7:51 a.m., another officer arrived on the scene at 37 South 5th Avenue. The business is a skills machine/mechanical device shop. The payout machine had been broken into and the cassette boxes with payout cash had been removed. An officer took photographs and then cleared the scene. The owner of the business was also on the scene.

The video surveillance noted the following:

At 6:17 a.m., a white male dressed in a black hoodie, dark pants, brown boots, and a face mask walked from the east side of the building to the front door of the business and then entered the front door. The male then walked to the second room where the payout machine is and enters the doorway on the north side of the room. He then immediately turned to the camera at that doorway and spray painted it with red paint. He then went to the camera in the northeast corner of the room and painted the camera in that corner red. He then walked to the southeast corner of the room and paints that camera red. He then walked to the payout machine, sprayed the camera on the machine, and began prying on the bottom door with a crowbar and screwdriver until it opened.

He then removed three cassette boxes containing cash and walked out the north doorway of the room and then over to the front door. As he walked to the front door, he drops the crowbar. When he bent down to pick up the crowbar, the words “Lahr Bear” are visible on the bag containing his tools. The man stopped to pick up the crowbar as a light-colored convertible drove the wrong way and stopped near the front door. The male then exited the front door and dropped the “Lahr Bear” bag with tools. The male then walked around the back of the vehicle and to the passenger side of the vehicle. A blue truck then turned on to the street while the convertible left the area.

At 6:59 a.m., the convertible returned, and a male walked to the front door. The male then bent down and grabbed the front door approximately 18 inches from the ground with his right hand. The male was not wearing a glove. The male then grabbed the bag with his left hand and ran east out of sight.

PSP Clarion were contacted to assist with the crime scene processing of this incident. A trooper arrived and began processing the scene. Two latent prints were lifted from the door and a small hair was recovered from the payout machine. These items were collected as evidence and turned over to Clarion Borough Police at 4:20 p.m. All officers then cleared the scene.

On January 30, 2023, at approximately 4:00 p.m., Computer Support dropped off a thumb drive containing a video player and surveillance files. An officer reviewed the footage and observed the Saab convertible traveling south past Computer Support at 6:22 a.m. The Saab then travels north again past Computer Support at 6:57 a.m. It then travels south past Computer Support at 7:02 a.m.

The officer also reviewed the video of dashcam footage from a Public Communications Officer (PCO) of the Pennsylvania State Police. The video shows the PCO traveling west on Interstate 80. At the Clarion River Bridge, he approached a vehicle with its four-way flashers on. The PCO attempts to pass the vehicle but then it speeds up and he pulls behind it. The vehicle then started to exit the off-ramp at the Shippenville Exit. The PCO also exited the Interstate via the off-ramp. The SAAB pulled over to the berm and the PCO passed the vehicle. The PCO then traveled to the Jiffy gas station and pulled up to a gas pump. The Saab then pulled into the parking lot and up to a gas pump. The video then ended.

The PCO also completed a written statement describing the video surveillance and continued that he recognized the male driver that exited the Saab at the gas station pump due to his capacity as a PCO for the PA State Police. He identifies the male as John A. Blair III.

The PCO provided information to Chief Peck that the SAAB was displaying a known PA registration number.

Chief Peck was in contact with the Pennsylvania State Police Butler Barracks. They were able to confirm that the SAAB displayed the same PA registration number due to prior information reported to them about the vehicle and its owner/driver.

Chief Peck spoke with Butler City Police who were able to confirm that the plate had appeared on a license plate reader on New Castle Road, Moraine Pointe Plaza, Butler Township.

On January 30, 2023, at 11:37 a.m., a PSP trooper stopped the 2005 Saab Model 93 Convertible bearing the same PA registration number in Bruin, Pa. The vehicle was driven by a known male.

Chief Peck observed a crowbar behind the driver’s seat and a paint can on the back seat. Both items were in plain view. The driver also had his wallet and cell phone in the vehicle. The driver had a stack of U.S. currency at least 1/4 inch thick in his wallet.

The vehicle was impounded and towed to the Clarion Borough Police Department. The tow truck was followed by Clarion Police Department personnel to the Clarion Borough Police Department. The vehicle was then secured and locked in the vehicle impound lot.

Chief Peck interviewed Devin Schrecengost. Schrecengost confirmed that he drove John Blair and Mackenzie Elder to Clarion where he dropped off Blair in the area of the business in question. He then drove to Center Place where he and Elder parked. Elder was on the phone with Blair during the time he was in the building and advised him (Schrecengost) when to go pick Blair up. Schrecengost picked up Blair, and the three of them traveled to Emlenton. Blair had dropped his bag of tools and had to return to retrieve them. Schrecengost and Elder stayed at the Emlenton Truck Plaza until Blair returned.

Blair returned to Emlenton and picked up the two individuals. They then went to the Unimart in Petrolia. The investigating officer confirmed via video surveillance that they arrived in Petrolia. The video documents the time as 9:19 a.m. During this time, Blair emptied the bag containing his tools and put the money in that bag. As a result of this, some of the tools were left in the Saab.

Schrecengost confirmed that the tools left in his vehicle were the tools that Blair had used while at the business robbed in this incident.

Payout Machine Returned to Owner

On Monday, January 30, 2023, at approximately 12:45 p.m., a Clarion Police Department Officer received information from the Knox Borough Police Chief, that a known male had met with the owner of the machines from the Knox incident (Click here for Crime #3). While traveling to Knox, the male took Interstate 80. While passing the Clarion River Bridge and traveling westbound, he observed a gray cassette box that he recognized as belonging to one of the payout machines. He stopped and picked up the box and then drove it to Knox where he gave it to the known male. The owner looked at the box and determined that it was not his because he had written on his boxes with a black Sharpie marker. The officer then drove to Knox and collected the box from the man and transported it back to the Clarion Borough Police Department where it was placed into evidence.

Chief Peck Receives Video Surveillance from Jiffy Mart

On February 2, 2023, Chief Peck received video surveillance from Jiffy Mart. The video surveillance confirmed the information reported by the PSP PCO. Chief Peck was able to positively identify John A. Blair III in the video as the driver of the Saab. Blair also had on black gloves with light-colored markings which are very similar to the gloves observed in the video surveillance from the business in this incident.

Based upon the above-listed facts, an officer obtained a search warrant on February 3, 2023, from District Magistrate Duane Quinn to search the 2005 SAAB model 93 Convertible bearing the known PA registration number.

Officers conducted a search of the aforementioned 2005 SAAB on February 3, 2023. Located inside the SAAB, they recovered two crowbars, two pry bars, several screwdrivers, a red aerosol can of paint, a white bandana, a pair of Under Armour shoes, suspected methamphetamine, and paraphernalia and other items.

On February 6, 2023, once apprehended, Blair gave an interview to the Pennsylvania State Police. Blair admitted to being the individual who broke into the skill machine/mechanical devices/payout machines in Clarion Borough, the complaint states.

Officers Obtain AT&T Phone Records

On February 17, 2023, officers applied for a search warrant for AT&T phone records, and the warrant was granted.

On February 21, the phone records were received from AT&T. They show that the phone number used by Mackenzie Elder contacted the phone number used by Blair on Saturday, January 28, at 6:16 a.m. The phone call lasted for five minutes and 38 seconds. Blair was inside the business in question for approximately four minutes, from 6:17 a.m. to 6:21 a.m. Blair was also contacted by Elder at 7:02 a.m. for 47 seconds, which is right after Blair picked up the bag he had left behind.

At this point In time, Blair’s face was visible again, as he was walking out of the business. An exterior camera shows a white vehicle pulling into the laundromat parking lot at 3:28 p.m. Blair enters the same white vehicle, in the rear passenger side door with three metal boxes, the car then proceeds southbound on Route 208.

The total on the payout machine was listed as $5,640.00. The total cash removed from the other three machines is $724.00. The total U.S. currency removed is $6,364.00.

The total damage to fix all four machines is $6,600.00.

Devin Schrecengost Interviewed on Crime #3

On January 30, 2023, Schrecengost was interviewed by two officers and the Knox Borough Police Chief. He reported that he and Elder were riding with Blair and stopped at a farm supply store in Knox. Blair then told him (Schrecengost) to switch seats with him. Blair then asked to be dropped off near Beach Auto. Blair was on the phone with Schrecengost while he went into the Knox Laundromat. After approximately 10 minutes, Blair told him to come to the laundromat and pick him up. Schrecengost pulled alongside the parking lot and backed up to the door of the laundromat. Blair then got in the back passenger side door and instructed Schrecengost to drive. They traveled east on West Railroad Street, then north on North Main Street, and east on Darby Road. They then turned on State Route 338 and then onto Bus Mong Road. They then traveled towards Pine City.


Jackpot Jacker Strikes Again

The Jackpot Jacker: Shippenville Man Charged in three Separate PA Skills Game Thefts

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Gavin Fish is a reporter for EYT Media Group and YouTuber based in Venango County. In addition to his YouTube Channel, he has contributed to investigations and reports for ABC News, Investigation Discovery, and Fox Nation, and has collaborated on projects developed for Netflix, Oxygen, Discovery Channel, Amazon Prime, and Hulu.
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