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March 7, 2013

Car thief fled crash, hid in nearby home, police say

SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP — A Mars man who crashed a stolen car along Interstate 79 was arrested hiding out in the furnace closet of a home nearby, police said.

Bryan S. Edinger, 44, was arrested by state police Tuesday morning in a home in the 900 block of Old Ash Road, Springfield Township, police said.

Police said they were called to a crash at 10:07 p.m. Monday on I-79 northbound in Findley Township, where the car, which had been stolen from Butler County, rolled over three or four times in the median.

Edinger got out, told passersby he was drunk, and ran to the south, police said.

Police alerted neighbors that a man involved in a crash had run and to be on the lookout for him, police said.

A resident of Old Ash called police saying he had found a man hiding in his furnace closet, police said. The rear door to the home had been kicked in, police said.

When police confronted Edinger, he was holding a pair of scissors like it was a knife, police said.

“Edinger stated repeatedly that he was disappointed that he was unable to locate any firearm or other weapons inside the residence, and that the scissors were the best thing he could find,” police said.

Edinger was wearing a jacket, sweatshirt and pair of pants he had stolen from the resident, police said. He was taken to Grove City Medical Center, Pine Township, for treatment of minor injuries he suffered in the crash, police said.

Police charged Edinger with receiving stolen property, drunken driving, driving under suspension, a lane violation, failing to notify police of an accident, burglary, criminal trespass and theft.

He was arraigned by District Judge Lorinda L. Hinch and taken to jail after failing to post bond. A preliminary hearing was set for 9 a.m. March 14.

Edinger also is wanted on a Butler County bench warrant for failing to appear for DUI court Oct. 22.

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