The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

September 11, 2013

2 suspected burglars caught leaving house

SHENANGO VALLEY — Two people believed to have taken part in a recent string of robberies in Shenango Township, Hermitage, and Lackawannock Township were caught Monday just after leaving a house they allegedly robbed, police said.

Tracy Linn Hassel, 32, of 2239 Woodbine Drive, Hermitage, and Steven Terrance Mortland, 24, of 3028 Valley View Road, South Pymatuning Township, were arrested by Southwest Mercer County Regional police after they responded to a report of a burglary in progress in the 100 block of Jackson Road, Shenango Township, at 12:23 p.m.

Police saw the gray car in which the pair were making their getaway on Jackson Road approaching state Route 318.

After the car pulled over in the Shenango Township municipal building parking lot, police approached the car at gunpoint and, after spotting a television in the back seat, arrested Hassel and Mortland.

“We were fortunate; the guys were about a mile away when call came in and were able to catch them as they were leaving,” police Chief Riley Smoot said about the patrolmen who responded to the 911 call.

A search warrant for the car signed by District Judge Ronald Antos yielded two flat screen TVs and other items from the home on Jackson Road, as well as a large amount of marijuana in two clear cylinder tubes, police said.

Smoot said they can tie Hassel and Mortland to two other robberies in their area and that Hermitage and state police each have one or more cases where the two are suspects.

Smoot credits word of mouth through the community as instrumental in catching the pair.

“We got a lot of calls on suspicious vehicles and suspicious people,” Smoot said. “People just paid more attention.”

On Sep. 4 police asked the community for help to catch people who were breaking into homes in the daytime, and to report suspicious vehicles in their neighborhood.

The two burglaries prompting the plea happened in the sub-100 block of Bedford Road, Shenango Township, at 2:09 p.m. Thursday and the 3300 block of Hubbard-West Middlesex Road, Shenango Township at 2:45 p.m. Friday.

Various electronic items were stolen in those robberies, including a total of four flat screen TVs and a Ruger LC9 9mm black handgun, police said.

Smoot said police have not yet found the gun and would not say if there were more people involved in the robbery spree.

“As of right now the investigation is still ongoing.” Smoot said. “We are still interviewing them trying to gather information.”

Hassel and Mortland were both charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft and receiving stolen property.

Hassel also had a bench warrant from Mercer County courts for failure to appear. She is also being held on a probation detainer warrant.

The pair were arraigned by Antos and taken to Mercer County jail after failing to post $100,000 bond each.

Text Only
Local News
  • CIRT team in Jackson Center Man arrested after shooting standoff

    One Jackson Center man is recovering from a bullet wound, and the borough resident accused of shooting him sits in jail after a long night of drinking that state police say turned into a case of attempted homicide.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sharon Speedway location City on track for new Speedway store

    Speedway is lining up its administrative and bureaucratic cones on plans for the gas station and convenience store chain to zoom into downtown Sharon.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Guards, county OK deal

    County officials and guards at the Mercer County Jail have reached a tentative contract agreement that, if approved, halts the idea of privatizing operations at the facility.

    July 31, 2014

  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo