By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer
NEW WILMINGTON —
Two Shenango Valley men have been charged with breaking into the home of the former New Wilmington police chief, and are being investigated for a number of other thefts at about the same time.
Scott J. Lauderbaugh Jr., 29, of 3178 Main St., West Middlesex, has been charged with burglary, criminal trespassing, attempted theft from a motor vehicle, driving without a license and conspiracy to commit burglary, theft and criminal trespass. Daniel J. Tukalo Jr., 20, of 109 S. Irvine Ave., Sharon, has been charged with burglary, criminal trespassing, attempted theft from a motor vehicle and conspiracy.
Both men are in Lawrence County Jail awaiting preliminary hearings on Tuesday.
New Wilmington police reported that the son of former Chief Richard Hanna awoke at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday and heard sounds in the basement of the Beechwood Road home. He found two men using a flashlight and the men ran out of the basement, through a garage and across yards when the son yelled at them, police said.
Police found a car on Carol Drive about two blocks away, learned the car was registered to Lauderbaugh and that Lauderbaugh did not have a driver’s license.
Lauderbaugh was driving the car, Tukalo was a rear-seat passenger and a 19-year-old Sharon woman was a front-seat passenger, police said. All three had wet shoes or boots, and their lower pant legs also were wet, police said. They were detained and the car was impounded while a search warrant was obtained.
Results of any search have not been disclosed, but the woman was released without being charged, police said.
Immediately after the arrest, police were “inundated” with reports of homes, garages and vehicles being entered, and items including electronic equipment, money, jewelry and medication had been stolen. Police said they are continuing to investigate the reports.
Neshannock Township police investigated.