CLEARFIELD – A former Curwensville man has been accused of breaking into a local restaurant.
Jeffrey Allen Ullery, 42, an inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Houtzdale, has been charged by Curwensville Police Chief Mark Kelly with burglary, F1; criminal trespass, F2; theft by unlawful taking, M2; receiving stolen property, M2; and two summaries.
Ullery waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the county jail. Bail has been set at $10,000 monetary.
The charges stem from a reported burglary incident that occurred between April 4 and early April 5 of last year at the Central Hotel in Curwensville.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Kelly met with the restaurant’s owner. He explained that he pulled into the parking lot at approximately 8:10 a.m. and saw the door to the cooler room was broken into.
He looked into the cooler room and conducted a quick assessment before entering the kitchen area. There, he looked down the hallway and observed several checks from the business scattered on the floor. He immediately contacted police.
Kelly proceeded to survey the scene, including the exterior, and also took photographs. He contacted Punxsutawney State Police, R&I Division, and requested a trooper to respond to collect physical evidence and latent prints.
While investigating inside the cooler room, Kelly observed several loose peanuts scattered on the floor and an empty package. This area of the business is not open to the public. While surveying the exterior, he observed several peanuts on the ground near the back door to the kitchen.
Additionally, he observed several fresh scratches on the mechanism for the door, which leads into an office. The door faces Meadow Street and is on the south side of the business, which also faces the Curwensville Feed Store. Kelly believed this was the point of entry for the suspect.
While surveying the interior, Kelly observed the bar/lounge area. The owner pointed out he purposely leaves the cash register open, so that in case of a break-in, it wouldn’t be damaged completely.
Inside the register were various amounts of change. The owner said the suspect(s) had only taken an unknown amount of quarters. There were still several nickels and dimes in the register and several dimes were on the floor.
The owner also said the suspect(s) removed an unknown number of Snickers candy bars.
Based upon assessment of the scene, the suspect(s) must have come from a “dirty place” because there was “dog bur” or “burdock,” as well as dry dirt on the floor, doors, etc. The register was touched with some sort of glove, according to the trooper.
Kelly left the scene and went to local businesses in an attempt to locate the brand of peanuts observed at the Central Hotel. He found the same peanuts and package at the Snappy’s Convenience Store.
At the store, he asked the manager to pull receipts for purchases of the peanuts for the past day. While in the store’s men’s restroom, Kelly observed “dog burs” or “burdock” on the floor and a Snickers wrapper on the sink. He took photographs and collected the wrapper, which was sent for analysis.
On May 9, 2017, Kelly went to Fuel-On and spoke with the cashier. She indicated that a customer came in the store at approximately 6:30 a.m. April 5. He paid for items with all quarters and had Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, which the Central Hotel also had stolen. The Reese’s candy was hanging out of the male’s pocket.
The cashier identified the male as Ullery and said he was visibly intoxicated by some type of substance. He was slobbering all over himself and using “lewd, lascivious” language, she told Kelly.
According to her, Ullery was dressed in black with black or dark blue sweatpants, a black, zip-up hooded sweatshirt and some type of ankle brace. He was also wearing a sneaker type shoe. He reportedly asked to use the phone because he had a “rough night.”
She allowed him to use the phone and he sat down at a table. She said he began to be mean to the point customers were looking at him. She told Ullery he would have to leave, which angered him and he started yelling at her.
She went to obtain the phone from Ullery and saw it was still on. She said he had been on the phone for approximately 18 minutes. Ullery left the store but came back around 8 a.m. with another male.
He reportedly had a lot of change in his zip-up hoodie to the point it was falling out of the pockets. The other male was picking the change up off the floor. The cashier also observed that Ullery had a large cut on his left hand, which appeared to be in need of stitches.
On May 12, 2017, Ullery was inside the bar at the Central Hotel. The owner asked him to leave and Ullery asked him why.
When the owner explained it was suspected he’d broken in a couple weeks ago, Ullery allegedly commented he was “all screwed up” and asked if he’d done any damage.
When told he’d caused “quite a bit” of damage to the business, Ullery offered to pay for it. The owner refused his offer and Ullery tried three times to pay or compensate him for whatever damages. He asked Ullery to leave the bar again, which he did.
On May 17, 2017, Kelly interviewed Ullery about the incident and he said at the time he was on a week-long “bender” with Xanax. He didn’t have any recollection of that week, but he wasn’t denying or admitting to the crime.
Ullery said around the same time, he misplaced his phone and wrecked his bicycle. He later found both at the bottom of Windy Hill.
He admitted that he would have most likely been dirty from the wreck but said he couldn’t really remember anything about the entire week.
When asked, Ullery said he would be willing and “more than happy” to submit to a polygraph test. He was advised it would be arranged after Kelly received analysis on the peanut package from the Erie Crime Laboratory.
On May 31, 2017, Kelly went to the county jail to interview Ullery again about the burglary. He’d been arrested by Clearfield-based state police and incarcerated for robbing the City Drug Store in Curwensville.
Ullery admitted that he had a drug problem, mainly with Xanax and pain pills. He also admitted that he somewhat knew what he was doing when he committed the robbery and he more than likely committed the burglary.
However, he claimed he was “so messed up” that he couldn’t remember doing it. Kelly advised Ullery that the evidence pointed to him committing the burglary to which Ullery agreed.
On Nov. 1, 2017, a laboratory analysis determined the DNA profile obtained from Ullery matched that from a swabbing of the opening of an empty peanut bag.