Police Arrest Suspect Accused of Stealing AK-47 Rifles from Rural King in Sugarcreek Borough

| May 25, 2023

SUGARCREEK BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) — Police have identified and apprehended a man suspected of stealing two AK-47-style rifles from Rural King in Sugarcreek Borough.

According to court documents, Franklin-based State Police filed the following criminal charges against Raejon Williams, of Pittsburgh, in Magisterial District Judge Matthew T. Kirtland’s office on May 23:

  • Burglary – Not Adapted for Overnight Accommodations, No Person Present, Felony 2
  • Theft by Unlawful Taking – Moveable Property, Felony 2
  • Criminal Mischief – Damage Property, Felony 3

According to the criminal complaint, PSP Franklin responded to an alarm at Rural King located at 491 Allegheny Blvd., in Sugarcreek Borough, Venango County, around 2:25 a.m. on Saturday, May 13. Upon arrival, it was discovered that someone had forcibly entered the store and smashed a display case containing handguns.

Review of the surveillance camera footage revealed a black male actor approached the store on foot on May 13 at 1:27 a.m. The actor can be seen jumping a chain-link fence and prying open a locked door on the side of the building facing Front Street. The actor gains entry and enters the store at 1:42 a.m. Once inside, the actor grabbed an axe off the shelf and proceeded to start smashing the handgun display case in order to gain access to the handguns inside, the complaint states.

The actor was unable to gain access to the display case. He then picked up a box containing an airsoft gun, but ultimately left it behind, the complaint indicates.

While inside the store, the actor appears to be talking to someone on his cell phone. The actor took two 30-round AK-47 magazines off the shelf area before moving to the rifle display and beginning to pry at the rifles, the complaint notes.

The actor broke the stock of the rifles as he was attempting to get it out of the display rack. He ultimately took two AK-47 style rifles from the display rack. The broken gun/stock was left behind, the complaint states.

The actor fled the scene on foot towards Front Street. He was wearing a black mask, black pants, a black Ohio State hoodie, a black backpack, and white tennis shoes. He did not appear to be wearing gloves during the incident, the complaint indicates.

The stolen firearms were identified as a Riley Defense Inc. model RAK47 rifle, 7.62x39MM Cal., with a black stock and magazine, and a Contrary Arms Model VSKA rifle, 7.62x39MM Cal., with a reddish wood stock and magazine.

The scene was processed by the PSP Forensic Service Unit. Items that were left behind by the actor that were touched were submitted for fingerprints and DNA samples were collected, the complaint states.

A palm print was collected at the scene, the complaint notes.

The area around Rural King was canvassed for surveillance footage. Photos were then sent out to local media outlets on Tuesday, May 16, the complaint notes.

On May 17, PSP Franklin received a phone call from a known male, who indicated he saw the pictures of the actor posted on Facebook and identified the individual as Raejon Williams, an 18-year-old black male, the complaint states.

The known male agreed to an interview.

During the interview, the known male related he has known Williams for years and they went to school together. He stated Williams lived with him for a few months last fall but moved out around the end of November 2022, the complaint indicates.

The known male related he was at a friend’s garage in Oil City on May 13 when Williams messaged him on Snapchat and asked him for a ride. The male stated he told Williams he could not give him a ride and proceeded to leave his friend’s garage around 3:30 a.m., according to the complaint.

While driving on Route 8 towards Franklin from Oil City, he saw Williams walking along Route 8 near Komatsu, which is approximately 2.3 miles from Rural King, the complaint notes.

The male related he stopped and agreed to give Williams a ride. The known male then told police that Williams was carrying two rifles wrapped in a sweatshirt, according to the complaint.

The description of the rifles provided by the known male was consistent with the rifles stolen from Rural King, the complaint notes.

The male related Williams put the rifles in his backseat and claimed he got the rifles from his mother, the complaint states.

According to the complaint, the known male told police he gave Williams a ride to Washington Avenue in Oil City. He was not certain what direction Williams went after he got out of the car. He then related that he immediately knew it was Williams when he saw the Facebook post.

It was learned during the interview with the known male that he gave Williams the Ohio State hoodie he was wearing when they were living together. He then indicated he was driving a silver Nissan Altima and provided a phone number for Williams, the complaint indicates.

A driver’s license and criminal history checks were conducted on Williams with negative findings. A Department of Human Service query for Williams showed his recipient address at 326 Washington Avenue in Oil City. A possible Facebook account was located for Williams and the photos on the account appeared to be similar to the actor of the video at Rural King, the complaint notes.

Police obtained a search warrant for Williams’ DNA and fingerprints on May 22. It was granted by District Judge Patrick E. Lowrey.

On May 22, State Police in Franklin traveled to the Washington Avenue residence to attempt to make contact with Williams. The female who answered the door related Williams is her nephew, but he was not there. She refused to identify herself. The female advised Williams is a student at the Job Corps in Pittsburgh. Investigators then contacted Job Corps on May 22 and verified Williams is a student at their facility and he was in class, the complaint states.

PSP Pittsburgh was then contacted to assist in the service of the search warrants.

On May 23, PSP Pittsburgh obtained search warrants through Allegheny County for Williams’ fingerprints, DNA, and any cell phone(s) in his possession.

Police then made contact with Williams on Highland Drive in Pittsburgh. Williams was wearing a school issued photo identification. In the photo, Williams appears to be wearing the same Ohio State hooded sweatshirt seen in the surveillance footage. He was transported to PSP Pittsburgh for fingerprinting and DNA collection.

A trooper with PSP Franklin then traveled to Pittsburgh to interview Williams. During the interview, Williams admitted to entering Rural King and taking the AK-47 rifles. He related he no longer had possession of the rifles, according to the complaint.

According to court records, Williams was arraigned at 7:25 p.m. on May 23 in front of Judge Lowrey.

Williams was lodged in the Venango County Prison on May 23 with bail denied. The bail action reason was listed as “defendant is a flight risk.”

A preliminary hearing is set for May 31, at 8:30 a.m. in Venango County Central Court.

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Category: Local News, News, Police & Fire Calls

Jacob Deemer is a reporter for EYT Media Group, who is based out of Venango County. He started his career as a sports writer for a local newspaper before contributing to TheHockeyWriters.com as a beat writer for the Pittsburgh Penguins. He has spent over 6 years covering sports, crime, and local news in Venango, Clarion, and Jefferson Counties.
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