Accused Burglar Waives Hearing

CLEARFIELD – A 23-year-old Philipsburg man who has been accused of burglarizing his father and step-mother’s residence, stealing jewelry from them and then selling it for cash waived his right to a preliminary hearing during Centralized Court on Wednesday at the Clearfield County Jail.

Nicholas Jordan Strickland, 23, of Philipsburg has been charged with burglary; criminal trespass; theft by unlawful taking; receiving stolen property; disorderly conduct; and criminal mischief. His bail was modified to $25,000.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, at approximately 7:48 p.m. Oct. 9, Lawrence Township police responded to a reported burglary. Upon arrival the victim told police she noticed a chair, which was located on her porch next to the front door, had been moved.  Further investigation revealed that Strickland had forced entry through the front window and entered the residence to rummage for cash.

When Strickland didn’t locate any cash, he went into the victim’s bedroom and accessed her jewelry case. He removed several pieces of expensive jewelry. He then rummaged through a dresser drawer and removed approximately $523 in cash before fleeing the residence.

Upon arriving to the scene, police observed several fingerprints and a palm print on the window, where Strickland had entered. Police dusted and collected these prints; however, there weren’t any viable prints collected. After going inside, police processed the interior side of the window and collected two viable prints from its frame.

The victim told police she suspected Strickland, who is her step-son, as he’d broken in like this in the past. On Oct. 10, police said that the victim contacted them after speaking with local jewelers. She said John Mekis of Front Street Jewelers in Philipsburg had advised her he’d purchased jewelry from Strickland and his girlfriend on the day of the alleged burglary.

Police and the victim went to Front Street Jewelers on Oct. 10 to see the purchased jewelry. The victim identified her jewelry, which police assumed possession of for evidence.  Mekis said he and another employee would be able to identify Strickland and his girlfriend.

After they’d returned to Clearfield, the victim contacted police again. She had located the vehicle that her step-son had been driving parked at the Days Inn, and police arrived there at approximately 4:50 p.m. Police determined the vehicle was registered to Strickland and entered the motel.

Once inside police asked the clerk if Strickland was staying there. The clerk said no before indicating his girlfriend was staying there. Police proceeded to the motel room and stood outside the door, listening to one male and female and at least two, young children inside the room.

After knocking three times, police announced, “It’s the police” to the girlfriend and ordered “you need to open the door.” Police knocked a fourth time and announced again, before Strickland’s girlfriend answered the door.

Strickland was subsequently taken into custody, and observation of the motel room didn’t reveal any stolen items.

Further investigation into the burglary revealed that several stolen items hadn’t been recovered. Strickland permitted police to search his vehicle in which they located a lock box on the front passenger’s side floor. The lock box contained several other missing items that belonged to the victim.

Both Strickland and his girlfriend were transported to the Lawrence Township police station to be interviewed. Strickland admitted to committing the burglary, stealing the jewelry and then selling it to the jeweler.

In her interview, Strickland’s girlfriend told police she’d taken him to Edgewood and dropped him off; she returned one hour later to pick him up. She said they ran some errands and returned home. She’d gone inside the residence to get jewelry that she purchased at yard sales. After she returned, Strickland went inside and returned a short time later, and they proceeded to the Front Street Jewelers.

She said at the store, Strickland exited the vehicle and asked for her jewelry bag. She gave it to him and he went into the jewelry store. She also went inside with the children and admitted they sold the jewelry. She said Strickland was paid approximately $600.

In second interview with police, Strickland admitted that he had his girlfriend drop him off in Edgewood, and he walked to his father’s residence. Once there he admitted to breaking the front window and rummaging through the residence. When he couldn’t locate any cash, he went into the bedroom and removed several pieces of jewelry that belonged to the victim and her husband. He also admitted to going to the Front Street Jewelers and selling the jewelry from his father’s residence.  Afterward his girlfriend repeated this series of events to police.

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