Man Jailed on Burglary Charges Following Three-County Crime Spree

ELDRED TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A 25-year-old man has been charged with felony burglary and related charges after a police investigation revealed his alleged involvement in a crime spree across three counties in late December of 2017.

According to court documents, Marienville-based State Police filed criminal charges against 25-year-old Colton James Baird,, of Ridgway.

According to a criminal complaint, State Trooper Wissinger was contacted by a Sigel man to report someone had stolen his black 2017 Ford Fusion from his driveway. The person also removed a gas can and work boots from a garage, which were later found outside the garage.

The perpetrator was reported to have entered the residence on Route 36 near Sigel, in Eldred Township (Jefferson County) and had taken the keys for the Fusion. During the investigation, police found another vehicle, a 2018 silver Toyota 4Runner, near the victim’s home.

It was stolen from a woman who lives in Ridgway (Elk County). A bullet hole was found in the front passenger side door of the 4Runner. This was believed to have come from a .22 caliber rifle stolen from the Ridgway Township residence, the complaint states.

As the investigation into the two cars continued, Clarion-based State Police were advised of a burglary that had taken place on McCleary Road in Highland Township (Clarion County). A man, identified as Colton Baird, driving a black Ford Fusion was seen leaving the scene of the burglary.

Several items were stolen, including a 12-gauge shotgun.

On December 24, 2017, two men saw Baird in Coraopolis driving a black Ford Fusion. When asked where he got the car, Baird said a friend had let him borrow it. On December 25, Baird returned to Ridgway and was confronted by three people about the car, and Baird admitted he stole the car, the complaint states.

Then, on December 26, 2017, State Police were contacted by Ridgway Police. It was learned they had several family members of Baird’s at their station. They wanted to report that they knew Baird had stolen the Fusion and that he told them he had done it. The family was to meet Baird at the Ridgway Police Station to turn himself in, but he didn’t show up, according to the complaint.

On December 28, Ridgway-based State Police contacted Marienville-based State Police to report they had recovered the victim’s Ford Fusion, and it was completely burned. Further investigation by State Police Fire Marshal Watters revealed a 22. caliber rifle and a 12-gauge shotgun were found inside the burned Fusion. Also, jewelry and knives believed to have been stolen during the Clarion burglary were found in the car, according to the complaint.

Baird was arraigned February 21 in District Judge Greg Bazylak’s office on the following charges:

– Burglary – Overnight Accommodations; Person Present, Bodily Injury Crime, Felony 1
– Burglary – Not Adapted for Overnight Accommodation, No Person Present, Felony 2
– Criminal Trespass-Enter Structure, Felony 3
– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 3
– Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 3

He is currently lodged in the Jefferson County Jail on $100,000.00 cash bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6.

RELATED: Search Continues for Man Who Stole Gun, Car

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