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Teenagers sentenced in string of summer break-ins, burglaries

November 21, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Three teenagers responsible for a series of Chambersburg-area burglaries last summer were found delinquent on several felony counts last week in Franklin County Court.

Judge Carol Van Horn on Friday placed one of the boys, a 15-year-old, in a juvenile residential treatment facility for a period of 12 to 18 months, said Assistant District Attorney Bret Beynon. The juvenile had participated in all of the burglaries and other crimes, she said.

The other two, ages 15 and 14, were returned to the custody of their parents and placed under the supervision of the Juvenile Probation Department for 18 months, including six months of intense supervision, Beynon said. Those two also will be spending their weekends in what she called a "leadership development program," similar to a boot camp program, she said.

The trio had been charged with a series of burglaries, attempted burglaries and thefts that took place primarily in Chambersburg in August. Beynon said the hearing Friday involved all the Chambersburg cases and some in Pennsylvania State Police jurisdiction.

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"The way they got into people's houses was (the residents) left keys outside and doors unlocked and windows open," Beynon said. In most if not all the cases, she said, the homes were occupied at the time the juveniles entered and stole cash and other property.

The burglaries and attempted burglaries in the borough occurred on Brumbaugh, Stanley, Wallace, Cumberland and Fifth avenues; Woodlawn, Meadow and William Penn drives; and Rosewood and Orchard courts, according to Chambersburg police.

At the time the juveniles were charged, Detective Sergeant Dianne Kelso said two cell phones stolen from one home led police to the teenagers. The phones were found by a citizen and turned over to police, she said.

After they had been stolen, the phones were used to call people and interviewing the recipients of the calls helped lead police to the juveniles, Kelso said. A fingerprint from one crime scene also matched one of the teenagers, she said.

Beynon said a number of the victims were contacted and consulted about the disposition of the case. Some were at Friday's hearings, she said.

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