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Police: Mifflinburg man broke into 2 tow businesses (PA)


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Police: Mifflinburg man broke into 2 tow businesses, stole police evidence, vehicle keys


State and local police accuse a Mifflinburg man of breaking into two different towing businesses, stealing a computer and other items from one and smashing out the windows of his own impounded vehicle at the other and taking potential criminal evidence from inside.


Patrolman Gary Heckman of the Buffalo Valley Regional Police Department arrested Ryan J. Darrup, 20, on July 16. He’s been held in Union County Prison since then on $50,000 bail. Trooper Colton Killion, state police at Milton, filed a separate criminal case Thursday against Darrup who awaits arraignment on the newest charges.


According to Heckman’s criminal complaint, Darrup kicked out a glass door window to a secured garage at Freedom Towing, Route 15, East Buffalo Township, where his 2012 Ford Fusion was impounded the day prior by Patrolman Dan Baumwoll.


The break-in occurred at 6:24 a.m. and was recorded by surveillance cameras, police said.


Heckman said Darrup was armed with what appeared to be a knife when he entered the garage. Darrup used metal tools to smash both the front and rear windshields after ripping away evidence tape stuck to the vehicle’s locked doors, arrest papers state.


The complaint states that Darrup wiped away broken glass from the trunk with a fire suit before climbing through the rear windshield and removing two backpacks and a large Ziplock bag with unknown contents.

After reaching through the broken front windshield and unlocking the driver-side door, Heckman said Darrup opened the door and retrieved an unknown object that he slid into his pocket before exiting the garage.


Baumwoll impounded the vehicle, according to Heckman’s complaint, after Darrup was discovered unresponsive inside and taken to Evangelical Community Hospital, Lewisburg. According to the complaint, Baumwoll observed potential drug paraphernalia inside the vehicle, said it smelled strongly of marijuana and that what appeared to be a handgun was observed inside one of the partially opened backpacks. Also, there was a small lockbox or safe on the rear passenger seat, arrest papers state, though that’s not referenced with respect to the break-in.


Earlier July 16 at 3:53 a.m., surveillance cameras at Aurand’s Towing, 1015 Buffalo Road, Buffalo Township, captured footage of a male who police identified as Darrup having pried open a fence, entering a garage and walking to the back where he was able to turn off the camera system, Killion’s own complaint states.


The business owner reported $1,820 in items were stolen including a Mac computer, accessories and two propane torches. Also stolen were the keys to all of Aurand’s tow trucks as were the keys to all of the impounded vehicles at the business, police said.


According to arrest papers, the suspect in both incidents was wearing matching clothing. A latent fingerprint was taken from a tow truck door and a shoe imprint lifted from a chair, the latter of which was found to have matched what Darrup was wearing when he was taken into custody about 7 p.m. July 16, arrest papers state.


For the Freedom Towing break-in, Heckman charged Darrup with burglary and criminal trespass, both felonies, plus tampering with evidence, criminal mischief, which are each a misdemeanor charge. A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 26 before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Rowe, Lewisburg.


Killion filed the following charges against Darrup with respect to the break-in at Aurand’s Towing: burglary and criminal trespass, both felonies, misdemeanor counts of theft and receiving stolen property and a summary count of criminal mischief. An arraignment before Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey Mensch is scheduled for Monday.



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