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UPDATE: Shippenville Man Admits to Stealing Vehicles

Friday, March 9, 2018 @ 09:03 AM

Posted by Aly Delp

bruce-smith-new-mugCLARION CO., Pa. (EYT) – New details have emerged in a case against a Shippenville man accused in a string of vehicle thefts that occurred early this week.

Court documents indicate the Clarion-based State Police filed criminal charges against Bruce Edwin Smith, 55, of Shippenville.

According to a criminal complaint, around 10:31 a.m. on Monday, March 5, Troopers Lingle and Norbert were dispatched to Creekside Service located on Buckhorn Road in Elk Township for a report of a stolen S-10 truck. During the investigation, a white GMC box van was located at the scene. It was learned that the Erie Police Department reported the van stolen.

Trooper Lingle requested PSP Clarion issue a BOLO to all surrounding stations and law enforcement agencies with a description of the stolen S-10 truck. PSP Clarion was then contacted by Marienville PSP advising that they had located a tan Chevy S10 crashed over an embankment near West Hickory in Forest County. Marienville PSP reported that during the investigation of the crashed S-10, they discovered a 2006 Chevrolet Silverado was stolen from a residence located near the scene of the crash. A BOLO was then issued for the Silverado to all surrounding stations and law enforcement agencies, the complaint states.

Around 12:48 p.m., PSP Clarion received a call from a known man who advised of a man driving a red Chevy Truck with blood on his face at the Walmart parking lot. Trooper Lingle and additional PSP members responded to the area and conducted a search with no results. A request was made to local law enforcement to watch for the suspect vehicle. During a search of the area, Trooper Hotchkiss observed the suspect vehicle stopped at the intersection of Corbett Street and Greenville Avenue in Clarion Borough. Trooper Hotchkiss followed the suspect vehicle and verified it as the stolen vehicle. Trooper Hotchkiss then conducted a traffic stop on the suspect vehicle along Grand Avenue, and upon arrival of additional law enforcement members, the driver, Bruce Smith, was removed from the vehicle and placed in custody.

According to the criminal complaint, Smith had a heavy odor of alcohol emanating from his breath, and an open bottle of Crown Royal was found inside the truck.

Smith was transported to Clarion Hospital where he was treated for a head injury and administered a BAC test.

While at the hospital, Smith admitted to police that he stole all three vehicles, according to the criminal complaint.

Smith was arraigned at 7:45 p.m. on Monday, March 5, in Magisterial District Judge Timothy P. Schill’s office on the following charges:

- Theft By Unlawful Taking-Movable Property, Felony 2
- Receiving Stolen Property, Felony 2 (three counts)
- DUI: General Impairment/Incompetent of Driving Safely – First Offense, Misdemeanor
- Unauthorized Use Motor/Other Vehicles, Misdemeanor 2
- Driving While Operator Privilege Suspended Or Revoked, Summary

Smith was lodged in the Clarion County Jail after failing to post $50,000.00 cash bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13, with Judge Schill presiding.

Additional charges are pending in Forest and Erie Counties where he allegedly stole a third vehicle on Monday.


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