The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

February 20, 2014

Man admits role in 9 burglaries, 6 thefts

By Joe Pinchot
Herald Staff Writer

SHENANGO VALLEY — A South Pymatuning Township man on Tuesday admitted a role in nine burglaries and six retail thefts.

Steven T. Mortland, 24, who lived on Valley View Road, pleaded guilty to three counts of burglary and one count of misdemeanor retail theft.

He was accompanied in eight of the burglaries and the retail thefts by Tracy L. Hassel, 32, formerly of Hermitage, who pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and one count of misdemeanor retail theft.

Hassel was sentenced Feb. 8 to 2 to 6 years in state prison, which was put on top of a sentence of 5è to 15 years that was imposed in September for a series of other burglaries and crimes.

Two of Mortland’s burglary counts are first-degree felonies, punishable to a maximum of 10 to 20 years. The third count is a second-degree felony that has a maximum sentence of 5 to 10 years, and the retail theft charge is a first-degree misdemeanor, which carries a max penalty of 2è to 5 years.

Mortland acknowledged participating in these burglaries:

• Aug. 18 in the sub-100 block of Metz Road, Shenango Township.

• Aug. 21 in the 100 block of Horvath Farms Road, Lackawannock Township.

• Aug. 26 in the 4800 block of Hogback Road, Hermitage.

• Aug. 26 in the sub-100 block of Nych Road, Lackawannock Township.

• Aug. 29 in the sub-100 block of Bedford Road, Shenango Township.

• Aug. 30 in the 3300 block of Hubbard-West Middlesex Road, Shenango Township.

• Sept. 5 or 6 in the 100 block of Grange Road, Shenango Township.

• Sept. 6 in the sub-100 block of Reiber Road, Lackawannock Township.

• Sept. 9 in the 100 block of Jackson Road, Shenango Township.

He also admitted stealing merchandise with a total value of $2,515, including video games, six times between July 24 and 30 from Walmart, 1275 N. Hermitage Road, Hermitage.

Mortland, like Hassel, told police he is a drug addict, and that they sold or traded stolen items, which included firearms and electronic equipment, for drugs or money to buy drugs, police said.

Mortland and Hassel were arrested Sept. 10 after Southwest Mercer County Regional police responded to a burglary-in-progress call from the Jackson Road scene.