Pa. men charged in thefts, arsons

May 21, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Four men charged in a series of crimes, including running a stolen car into a church and setting it on fire, entered innocent pleas Wednesday in Franklin County Court and were scheduled for trial during the court's July term.

David Wayne Moore, 19, Kevin Allen Penwell, 20, and Edgar E. Statler, 29, all of Chambersburg, and Jessie Lynn Rockwell, 18, of St. Thomas, Pa., were charged by Pennsylvania State Police in a series of burglaries, thefts and arsons between last fall and late January.

Among the crimes the four men and a juvenile are charged in connection with:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> A Sept. 24, 1997, fire that destroyed the 26-unit Gift Storage business near Mercersburg, Pa. Police estimated the damage at more than $200,000.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> On Dec. 19, a stolen vehicle was driven into Brandt's Church of the Brethren, 8003 Brandt's Church Road, St. Thomas. The vehicle then was set on fire.


HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> The Williamson Scuba Club, off Pa. 995 near Greencastle, Pa., was destroyed by fire. Police records said damage and the theft of scuba equipment totaled about $60,000.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Police records said a Jan. 14 fire destroyed a wooden barn belonging to Emery C. Etter Jr., 1925 Salem Road, Chambersburg. Damage was estimated at $40,000.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> On the night of Jan. 23, a motor home was stolen from Checkered Flag Lube Center, 8565 Lincoln Way West, St. Thomas, and driven through the Mount Brook Orchard, where a building was damaged. The reports said another vehicle also was stolen and destroyed that night. The loss in those incidents was estimated at $9,000.

According to court records, Penwell is charged with four counts of arson, five counts of burglary, eight counts of theft, 10 counts of criminal conspiracy, nine counts of criminal mischief, three counts of receiving stolen property and one count of desecration of venerated objects.

Moore is charged with three counts of arson, four counts of burglary, eight counts each of theft and criminal mischief, 11 counts of criminal conspiracy, one count of receiving stolen property and desecration of venerated objects.

Rockwell is charged with one count each of desecration of venerated objects, arson, burglary and theft, two counts each of receiving stolen property and criminal mischief and four counts of criminal conspiracy.

Statler is charged with arson, two counts of burglary, four counts of criminal mischief and five counts each of theft and criminal conspiracy.

Penwell and Moore remain in jail. Statler and Rockwell are out on bond.

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