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Three men charged in Sandy Township home invasion
Thursday, June 20, 2013
DUBOIS - Clearfield County District Attorney William A. Shaw Jr. announced that three men have been charged as a result of an early morning home invasion in Sandy Township.
Shaw identified the defendants as Eric Britton, 29, of Church Street, Falls Creek; Jeffrey Sprague, 28, of Coal Hollow Road, Verona; and Austin Eheart, 20, of Palmyra, Va.
On Tuesday, Sgt. Rodney Fairman of the Sandy Township Police Department filed criminal complaints charging the defendants with robbery, burglary, criminal trespass, criminal conspiracy, theft by unlawful taking, false imprisonment and two counts receiving stolen property.
According to the criminal complaints, on Monday at approximately 6:13 a.m., Sandy Township Police Department was dispatched to a Thunderbird Road residence in Sandy Township for a report of a home invasion, where three male subjects had broken into the residence, threatened the occupants, then fled on foot. Upon arrival at the scene, officers made contact with the victims, who were both 72 years old, and one of whom was confined to a wheelchair. The female victim reported that she had been sleeping on the couch in her residence when she was awoken by a loud noise and observed three males wearing bandanas over their faces entering her locked front door. One of the actors forced the victims into a bedroom, and prevented the victims from leaving the room while the other two actors began to go through the house. After removing approximately $1,000 worth of U.S. currency, the actors fled on foot.
Upon investigation it was found that the actors had forced open the front door to the residence, and had also shattered a side window. Observations at the scene indicated that entry was made or had been attempted to be made through a window in the residence, as it appeared that one of the actors had been injured as blood was found on the shattered glass pane of the window. Additionally, a broken section of a wooden step ladder was found underneath the window which did not belong to the victims. The Track and Trail Search and Rescue Team and Pennsylvania State Police responded to the scene in order to assist in locating the suspects and process the scene.
The criminal complaint further provides that a passerby contacted police and reported seeing a male walk out of the woods on South Main Street and Thunderbird Road in DuBois. It was reported that the male was wearing blue jeans, a white tank top with blood on it, and had blood all over his face. Video surveillance was also obtained from a Lincoln Drive residence that showed a male matching the same description as previously reported, walking by the residence at 6:50 a.m.
On Tuesday, officers from the Sandy Township Police Department and DuBois City Police Department arrived at a residence at 109 W. Washington Ave., DuBois, in order to serve a felony warrant on Sprague for a different case of robbery and burglary in DuBois City, where three males had been wearing blue bandanas. Officers made entry into the residence, at which time Sprague attempted to exit the back basement door, but he was taken into custody. Sprague matched the description given by the victims of the actor who had forced them to remain in their bedroom.
Inside the residence, officers made contact with Eheart, who matched the description of the suspect reported on South Main Street and in the surveillance footage from Lincoln Drive. Eheart was observed to have recent injuries consisting of a laceration to his left hand that had been stitched, a laceration to his right arm and a contusion to his head. Also found in the residence were various pieces of clothing covered in blood and mud, as well as a broken wooden step ladder that appeared to be similar to the one found at the scene of the crime.
Upon further investigation it was found that Britton, Sprague and Eheart were the three actors who had broken into the residence. It was found that they had parked a vehicle in an area near the house, and had walked through a wooded area carrying a wooden step ladder. Once they arrived at the residence, Eheart had smashed a window and Sprague had kicked in the door in order to gain entry into the residence. Once inside the residence, they removed the U.S. currency and fled on foot.
Shaw stated that on Tuesday, Britton, Sprague and Eheart were apprehended and arraigned by Magisterial District Judge James Hawkins. During the arraignment, Hawkins set bail at $250,000 for each of the defendants. Preliminary hearings are to be scheduled at a later date.
Shaw explained that this type of criminal activity will absolutely not be tolerated in Clearfield County, and that continued efforts will be made to identify, investigate and prosecute criminals responsible for this type of behavior. Shaw commended Fairman and the Sandy Township Police for their quick response in resolving this case and filing criminal charges. Shaw further thanked the DuBois City Police Department, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Track and Trail Search and Rescue Team for their cooperation and efforts to assist with this investigation.
Anyone with knowledge of a crime is asked to call Clearfield County Crimestoppers at 1-800-376-4700. All calls to Crimestop-pers are confidential.
Anonymous tips can also be submitted by visiting the Clear-field County District Attorney website at and selecting "Report A Crime."
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