Armed Victim Catches Burglar in Cranberry Township

| October 24, 2020

CRANBERRY TWP., Pa. (EYT) – The details of a Cranberry Township burglary, where the armed victim caught the perpetrator in the act, have been released.

Court documents indicate 27-year-old Matthew Charles Graham, of Oil City, was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 22, on the following charges:

– Burglary – Overnight Accommodation, No Person Present, Felony 1
– Burglary – Not Adapted for Overnight Accommodation, Person Present, Felony 1
– Criminal Attempt – Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 2
– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 2
– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Immovable Property, Felony 2 (three counts)
– Criminal Mischief-Tamper With Property, Felony 3
– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 3
– Possession of Controlled Substance, Misdemeanor
– Marijuana-Small Amount Personal Use, Misdemeanor
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor (five counts)

Unable to post 25,000.00 monetary bail, Graham was lodged in the Venango County Jail.

The charges stem from an incident that occurred in Cranberry Township on October 20.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 5:01 p.m. on October 20, Franklin-based State Police were dispatched to a reported burglary in progress at a location on Allegheny Avenue in Cranberry Township, Venango County.

Matthew Graham was taken into custody at the scene.

Graham reportedly stated “it was a misunderstanding” and said his girlfriend, who he said was with him during the incident, was allowed to be in the building, the complaint states.

Police then spoke to the victim, who stated he came into his shop through the upstairs garage bay and found Graham loading tools and other items into a milk crate.

The victim then drew his lawfully-owned pistol and ordered Graham to get on the ground, according to the complaint.

The victim reported that Graham shouted things at him such as “just (expletive) shoot me,” and “I’m not scared of you,” but he finally complied when he heard police sirens, the complaint states.

The victim then showed police all of the tools, equipment, and vehicles that had been tampered with. The victim also noted that the man door in the back of the building was left open that day, the complaint states.

While walking through the building, police discovered the victim’s forklift had been crashed into his GMC pickup truck with the gas still on. There were also at least three tool organizers that were opened, the complaint indicates.

The paint on the victim’s motorcycle was scratched, and in the rear parking area, one of the victim’s white box trucks had been moved closer to the building and was prepped to be loaded, with the driver’s door open and the box door halfway open. The key to the box truck was then located on the ground close to the motorcycle, where the other tools had been tampered with, according to the complaint.

The victim also showed police that the keys were in the ignition of his pickup truck, which he stated he “never does,” and the passenger door to his 1969 Buick was left open with the windshield wipers halfway up and a knob missing from the radio.

The victim then took police upstairs to a small room adjacent to his woodworking shop where another tool organizer was tampered with. Next to that, police located Graham’s pants and shoes, which he had apparently removed. In the pants pockets, they found the keys to the 1969 Buick as well as a glass smoking pipe containing white powder residue, the complaint indicates.

Police then spoke to the victim’s wife, who reported that earlier that day, she heard the front door to her apartment open and thought it was her husband, so she called out to him. She said she then heard the door slam shut and came outside, where she found her son’s red wagon was pulled out onto her front porch with her husband’s laptop in it. She then looked up and saw the white Ford box truck parked right outside her door, according to the complaint.

Police also recovered a red Adidas bag that had been located at the scene.

Through a later interview with Graham and a subsequent search of the bag, it was discovered that Graham brought the bag to the scene and left it outside the French door on the side of the building. Inside it, police located methamphetamine, suspected marijuana, a suspected stolen laptop, a Samsung Tablet, a BB gun pistol that closely resembled a Smith and Wesson pistol, and a notebook containing a sketch of the scene, as well as rudimentary instruction on how to do a “hard reset” on a computer, according to the complaint.

In addition, police located what appeared to be stolen credit card numbers, evident as such by being 18-digit numbers with a date written next to each and another three-digit number written next to the date.

The complaint states police also located paperwork from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry addressed to Matthew Graham inside the bag.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on October 28, with Judge Lowrey presiding.

RELATED:

Man Arrested, Police Search for Woman Accused in Burglary in Cranberry Township


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