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Hearing dates set for man charged in burglaries

December 29, 2004|by DON AINES

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Three area men charged last week with six daylight burglaries in Franklin County, Pa., waived their preliminary hearings Tuesday in Central Court.

Stephen Lee Holmes, 18, of 18032 Putter Drive, Hagerstown; Wade Holmes, 18, of 403 Shenandoah Junction, W.Va.; and Harvey Michael Wilt, 24, of Kearneysville, W.Va., were scheduled for mandatory arraignment in county court on Feb. 9.

Each is charged with six counts of burglary, five counts of theft and one count each of criminal conspiracy and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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Stephen Holmes and Wade Holmes, who Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Eric Guyer said are cousins, have been released on $100,000 bond. Wilt was still being held in Franklin County Prison Tuesday, he said.

They are charged with six burglaries that took place on Monday, Dec. 20, but Investigator Greg Alton of the Washington County Sheriff's Department said last week that authorities in Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia are looking into possible links to dozens of daytime burglaries in recent weeks.

Wilt's brothers, Jerry Wayne Wilt, 27, and Bradley Allen Wilt, 23, of Kearneysville, W.Va., have each been charged by the Washington County Sheriff's Department with first-degree burglary, fourth-degree burglary, theft over $500, conspiracy to commit theft over $500 and conspiracy to commit first-degree burglary. They are charged with a burglary in the Hancock area, according to the criminal complaint.

Guyer said the break-ins being investigated in Franklin County date back to early November. The homes were all in rural areas, he said.

The six burglaries for which Stephen Holmes and Wade Holmes and Harvey Wilt are charged occurred in Southampton, Letterkenny and Lurgan townships, according to the affidavits of probable cause.

The three were taken into custody after one victim saw a white vehicle with three men at a neighbor's property, police said. She left to run some errands and returned to find her house had been broken into.

Police then received another report of a burglary and stopped a car in that area matching the description given by the woman. A search of the vehicle turned up firearms, video games, coins, cash and other items, the affidavit stated.

Guyer said police are investigating a seventh burglary from Dec. 20.

On Monday, he met in West Virginia with investigators from the Washington and Frederick County, Md., sheriff's departments; the Berkeley County and Jefferson County, W.Va., sheriff's departments and West Virginia State Police to confer on the investigations.

The investigations are complicated by the number of states and different jurisdictions involved and with trying to connect recovered property with the many possible victims, according to Guyer.

"There's property turning up in Virginia and West Virginia," he said.

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