Suspect Charged for Storage Unit Burglary

CLEARFIELD – A man has been charged for allegedly breaking into and stealing DJ equipment from a storage unit in Lawrence Township, according to paperwork filed at Magisterial District Judge Richard Ireland’s Office.

David W. Wilder, 34, of DuBois has been charged by Lawrence Township police with burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, intentional possession of a controlled substance and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Sept. 16, police were dispatched to a local business on Route 879 for suspicious items that had been located outside. Police were advised there was a blue tote with electronics in it, as well as wiring on the business’ property; a two-wheeled hand cart was also left there.

Upon arrival police allegedly observed the blue tote in question and the hand cart. When police checked inside the tote, there allegedly was wiring for DJ equipment and two, large strobe lights and paperwork. Police also allegedly found a large pile of uniform shirts from the business – Northeast Energy – in the adjacent weeds; the shirts had the name “Steve” stitched on them.

Police then traveled to the U-Store It facility to check the status of the storage units. Police allegedly found that Locker No. 77 had a padlock removed; upon opening it, police found DJ equipment and a disorganized cluster of items. Police also found the owner of the items inside the storage unit, and advised him of the missing items.

When the property manager for U-Store It arrived at the scene, he was able to pull surveillance video for the property. While viewing the video, police allegedly observed two males enter the property via a hole in the fence in the northwest corner. The males allegedly proceeded directly to Locker No. 77 and entered by cutting the lock. Upon entry the males allegedly removed large DJ speakers and totes, which they hauled out via a hole made in the fence.

They then proceeded behind a local business and loaded the items into an unknown vehicle. The males then left the scene, exiting Electric Avenue and heading east on Route 879. However, the vehicle returned approximately one hour later, and they removed more DJ equipment from the storage unit. When they fled the scene, they allegedly left the hand cart and a pair of yellow bolt cutters, which were collected by police.

Police also obtained video surveillance from another local business located on Electric Avenue. While viewing the video, police allegedly observed a vehicle traveling into the entrance of U-Store It, and it was identified as a dark-colored Jeep Patriot.

Police contacted the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Clearfield for possible suspects who had recently purchased a bolt cutter. Store employees were able to locate a group of three males who had purchased yellow Stanley bolt cutters on Sept. 12, and a print out of the three males was provided to police.

On Sept. 21, police received information that the victim’s son had identified two of the three possible suspects in the alleged storage unit burglary. The victim’s son identified the suspects seen in the surveillance video as a Clearfield male and juvenile.

That same day, police interviewed the juvenile at the township police station. He told police he was picked up by the male and the third suspect who was identified as Wilder on Sept. 12. He said all three went to Wal-Mart at 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. to purchase bolt cutters.

The juvenile said he purchased the bolt cutters at the self-checkout but claimed he didn’t know what they were for. He claimed that he was told they were going to cut a lock on a shed. The juvenile said they all returned to the Clearfield male’s house, and he left the bolt cutters in his [the male’s] vehicle.

On Sept. 18, the juvenile said he went to the Clearfield male’s house. He met with the male and Wilder again; he claimed that when he asked if they had gotten into the shed, Wilder said no, but he “stole some [expletive].” The juvenile also allegedly claimed that Wilder told him they’d tried two locks – one didn’t break and the other did.

On Sept. 22, police went to the male’s house in Clearfield Borough and observed a dark-colored Jeep Patriot in the driveway. Its registration came back to the male. Police requested that he come to the station for an interview, which he did.

While speaking with the male, he originally denied going to Wal-Mart to purchase a bolt cutter with the other two suspects. Once shown video, he allegedly admitted to going to the store with Wilder and the juvenile.

The male also originally claimed that he didn’t commit any crime. However, when presented with all of the evidence and the surveillance video, he admitted to being involved with the burglary. The male claimed Wilder told him to help with the burglary, or he would kill two of his family members, and that he was intimidated by Wilder and did what he said.

A few days after purchasing the bolt cutters, the male said he and Wilder went to U-Store It. He said they cut a hole in the fence and then went to the rear row of storage units. He said they both cut the lock on the unit and began to remove large speakers, which they loaded up.

While they unloaded the items, he said Wilder wanted to return to the shed and take more. The male said he wanted out; however, Wilder reminded him about the death threat and he agreed to go back a second time. When they returned he said they both took a drum set and other items.

When police transported the male back to his house they obtained consent to search. They allegedly located a drum set in the male’s bedroom and speakers in his basement. Police collected the stolen items from the male’s house.

Township police received a call from Clearfield Borough police who advised they’d located Wilder. He was located in the parking lot of the former Leonard Grade School off of Market Street.

Police made contact with Wilder and found he had two warrants. He was detained and allegedly determined to be in possession of a syringe and a bottle cap with white residue that was suspected to be Subutex.

During an interview with police, Wilder said he was familiar with the U-Store It burglary but didn’t know who committed it. When presented with evidence and surveillance, he allegedly admitted he’d taken part in the burglary. Wilder claimed it was the Clearfield male’s idea to commit the burglary, and he didn’t know what was done with the equipment.

Wilder consented for police to search his personal cell phone during the interview. Police found text messages in which Wilder stated he and the Clearfield male had burned some of the cables and speaker hookups to the stolen sound system. Wilder also stated that he’d taken these to Krentzman & Son in DuBois for scrap.

Wilder’s bail has been set at $50,000 monetary. His preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Sept. 30 at the Clearfield County Jail.

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