New Bethlehem Man Charged in Clarion Theft Spree

CLARION BOROUGH, Pa. (EYT) – A third man has been charged in connection with a spree of thefts from vehicles in Clarion Borough.

According to court documents, the Clarion Borough Police Department filed criminal charges against 21-year-old Conner James Nogel, of New Bethlehem.

He was arraigned in Magisterial District Judge Duane L. Quinn’s office on the following charges:

– Theft From A Motor Vehicle, Felony 3
– Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 3
– Criminal Conspiracy Engaging – Theft From A Motor Vehicle, Felony 3

Unable to post $50,000.00 monetary bail, he was lodged in the Clarion County Jail.

Police also filed criminal charges against 21-year-old Austen J. Rowe and 18-year-old Alexander Michael Aites, both of Pittsburgh.

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Unable to post $25,000.00 monetary bail, Rowe remains lodged in the Clarion County Jail.

On August 15, Aites was lodged in the Clarion County Jail on $25,000.00 monetary bail. His bail was posted by a professional bondsman on August 23.

Preliminary hearings are scheduled for all three men at 10:30 a.m. on August 29 with Judge Quinn presiding.

Details of the case:

According to a criminal complaint, around 2:30 p.m. on August 15, the Clarion Police Department were dispatched to a jewelry store on 614 Main Street for a report of two individuals attempting to sell a stolen ring.

Clarion County Office of Emergency Services reported that one male was wearing a t-shirt and blue jeans, and the other male was wearing a gray shirt with brown shorts.

Officers Zerfoss and Kemmer and Chief Peck responded. Officer Kemmer drove to the rear of the building while Officer Zerfoss and Chief Peck entered in the front of the store.

According to the complaint, the owner of the store said that on August 14, he reported an incident to Officer Zerfoss about a ring that was stolen from his vehicle which was parked on Elss Street in Clarion Borough. He said approximately 10 minutes ago, he had two white males come into the store with a ring they wanted to sell him, and once he saw the ring, he knew it was the one that belonged to his girlfriend that he reported stolen.

Chief Peck and Officer Zerfoss spoke to the two males at the front of the store. The first male was identified as Austen Rowe who was wearing a white t-shirt, and the second male was identified as Alexander Aites who was wearing a gray shirt with brown shorts.

When first questioned, Rowe stated that he found the ring lying along the roadway, the complaint indicates.

Rowe and Aites were separated, and Aites allegedly admitted to taking the ring from a parked vehicle which was parked along Elss Street. He stated that Rowe entered the vehicle and removed the ring, the complaint continues.

Both men were then taken into custody.

Aites’ vehicle was searched. A small baggie of marijuana, a Sony camera, two bb guns, a safe with money inside, a plastic container with change inside, brass knuckles, and scales were discovered inside the vehicle and taken to the station for evidence, the complaint states.

Aites’ Interview

The complaint states that Officer Kemmer interviewed Aites on August 15.

Aites allegedly stated that on August 12 and into August 13, he, Rowe, and Conner Nogel were bored and decided to walk around Clarion Borough. He drove his vehicle, a red Chevrolet truck, and parked it somewhere near the Clarion University. All three of them walked around Clarion for approximately two hours looking for vehicles that were unlocked.

At one point, they walked down Center Place and onto Elss Street, and they found a vehicle that was unlocked; they found a ring inside the vehicle. Rowe grabbed the ring, and they all took off walking again. Aites then walked on Third Avenue, and they found a purse in a vehicle, and they took it.

The three men walked all over Clarion Borough and found two more (unlocked) vehicles – one was located on South Seventh Avenue, and they removed coins and change. They located another vehicle on Campbell Avenue and removed a Sony camera from it.

Aites stated that from 11:30 p.m. on August 12th to 5:00 a.m. on August 13, they entered approximately 20 to 25 vehicles.

Rowe’s Interview

According to the complaint, Chief Peck interviewed Rowe on August 15.

Rowe allegedly stated that on Sunday night, he, Aites, and Conner Nogel entered parked cars within Clarion.

He estimated that they entered approximately 35 vehicles that included $315.00 in cash, $58.00 in change, a gun clip, a camera, a ring, a marijuana pipe, cigarettes, and an iPod. He stated that they took the collected change to Walmart early Monday morning and cashed it in and split the money up evenly among the three of them.

The Clarion Borough Police Department received four total reports of vehicles being entered and items stolen during this time frame, according to the complaint.

Aites faces following charges:

– Theft From A Motor Vehicle, Felony 3
– Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 3
– Criminal Conspiracy Engaging – Theft From A Motor Vehicle, Felony 3
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor
– Intentional Possession Controlled Substance By Person Not Registered, Misdemeanor
– Make Repairs/Sell/Etc Offense Weapon, Misdemeanor 1

Rowe faces the following charges:

– Theft From A Motor Vehicle, Felony 3
– Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 3
– Criminal Conspiracy Engaging – Theft From A Motor Vehicle, Felony 3
– Use/Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia, Misdemeanor

For more Clarion County news, visit http://www.exploreclarion.com.


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