Punxsutawney Man Accused of Stealing Five Guns from Gaskill Township Residence

GASKILL TWP., Pa. (EYT) – A Punxsutawney man is facing felony charges for the alleged theft of five firearms from a residence in Gaskill Township.

Court documents indicate the Punxsutawney-based State Police filed criminal charges against 20-year-old Brandon Michael Pearce.

According to a criminal complaint, on January 22, 2019, Punxsutawney-based State Police received a report from a known victim that four firearms had been stolen. The complaint notes the victim reported he had recovered two of the firearms, then later, after the initial report, also discovered another firearm missing.

The victim told police his girlfriend and Brandon Pearce were at his residence on January 11, and they were sitting in a room Pearce had previously lived in when he resided at the residence for several years. They then found a Smith and Wesson 357 revolver belonging to the victim in a dresser.

The complaint notes the pistol was normally in the nightstand in the victim’s bedroom, and the discovery prompted the victim to check his other firearms, as he maintained a large collection, including many firearms inherited from his father.

The victim then checked and found two pistols missing from under his coffee table, according to the complaint. He also discovered damage to the interior door between his basement and first floor, and later discovered another firearm missing.

The complaint states a total of five firearms were stolen, and three of the firearms, a 44 Ruger Revolver, a 45 ACP pistol, and a 380 pistol, were not recovered.

The victim told police he questioned Pearce about the pistol in his room, and Pearce allegedly said he “needed it for protection.” When questioned about the missing shotgun and other two pistols, Pearce told the victim he “would be able to get the shotgun back however he would need a plane ticket to get the two pistols back.”

The victim then began contacting some of Pearce’s friends. According to the complaint, one of the friends told the victim Pearce had shown up at his residence on a Friday night “all screwed up on drugs” with a shotgun with him, and said he told Pearce to leave the shotgun at the residence so he wouldn’t get in trouble, because he knew Pearce was on probation. The friend had left the residence for a job in another state, but the friend’s father was able to return the firearm to the victim. Police later confirmed the friend’s statements, according to the complaint.

The complaint notes the victim reported that a close family member of Pearce’s had offered to pay for the guns so Pearce wouldn’t have any felonies on his record.

The following charges were filed through Magisterial District Judge Jacqueline J. Mizerock’s office on Monday, May 18:

– Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 2 (five counts)

A preliminary hearing for the case has not yet been scheduled.

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