By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
FAIRVEIW TOWNSHIP —
Two men, including a former Amish man, have been charged with burglary for preying on an Amish homestead and stealing a number of firearms.
Emanuel S. Schwartz, 22, and Wendell J. Horst, 18, both of 1961 N. Perry Highway, Fairview Township, each have been charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal trespass.
The Amish victim who lives in the 1500 block of Airport Road, Fairview Township, reported Dec. 15 that a .270-caliber rifle, a muzzleloader, three other rifles, two shotguns and three pair of rubber boots were stolen from his home, state police said.
Police got a break in the case when Hempfield Township police encountered Horst for an unrelated reason and got his consent to search his pickup, police said. They found a .38-caliber handgun that had been stolen from Crawford County, and Horst admitted there were other stolen firearms at home, in his bedroom and in Schwartz’s, state police said.
Schwartz told police he and Horst had stolen firearms from a home near McCartney’s Feed and Hardware, 1683 Airport Road, police said.
Schwartz admitted he used to be Amish, believed the home was owned by an Amish man, and chose the location, day and time because he knew the habits of the Amish, police said.
Schwartz said he and Horst entered an unlocked door and stole a muzzleloader, a .270 and other guns, police said.
Police said they searched the home of Horst and Schwartz and found a .270, a muzzleloader, a shotgun, a .22-caliber rifle and two pair of boots, all identified by the victim.
Horst and Schwartz were arraigned by District Judge Lorinda L. Hinch, Mercer, and sent to Mercer County Jail after failing to post bond. Hinch will preside over a preliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Hempfield police charged Horst with carrying a firearm without a license, summary retail theft and underage drinking stemming from the Feb. 10 incident.
Horst was arraigned by District Judge Dennis M. Songer, Sharon, and faces a preliminary hearing at 2 p.m. Wednesday before District Judge Brian Arthur, Greenville.