CLEARFIELD – A Beccaria man has been accused of burglarizing the Moshannon Valley High School and stealing the student driver vehicle.
Samuel Jordan Bonsell, 28, has been charged by Trooper Dennis Peters of the Clearfield-based state police with felony counts of burglary, criminal trespass and theft by unlawful taking; a misdemeanor count of theft by unlawful taking; and a summary count of criminal mischief.
Bonsell waived his right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday during centralized court at the Clearfield County Jail. He’s currently incarcerated in lieu of $50,000 bail.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Peters was dispatched to investigate the incident at 10:21 a.m. Oct. 14. Upon arrival, he observed the damage that had occurred to the school’s front door keyless entry system.
During an interview, Assistant Principal Justin Fye said he came into the school around 9:30 a.m. to catch up on some items. As he approached the main doors, he discovered the key card sensor was pulled from the wall and damaged.
Once inside, he checked the security footage and observed a male attempting to break into the school. He said between the time he made the report and Peters’ arrival, he located additional security footage of the male inside the building.
Security video first showed the male arriving around 5:14 a.m. and checking numerous exterior doors. He was reportedly observed urinating beside the library exit and also pulling a wire from a wiring harness beside the doorway.
Unable to unlock several doors with the wire, he returned to the front doors where he pulled the key card sensor away from the wall. He then attempted entry through several other doors before going off camera near the band room doors.
The male reappeared on camera at approximately 5:46 a.m. inside the school. He exited from the auditorium and into the hallway by the gymnasium. He roamed around before entering the maintenance room where the key box is located and remained inside for several minutes.
When he exited at approximately 6 a.m., he walked toward the student driver vehicle. Minutes later he was observed driving off. Peters located four “student driver” magnetic decals on the ground, which he collected as evidence and to submit for forensic analysis.
At approximately 5:35 p.m., state police received a report that the stolen vehicle was unattended at a park in Irvona. Troopers were dispatched to its location and secured the vehicle for processing.
On Oct. 15, Peters spoke with Trooper Brian A. Elensky Sr., who was able to positively identify the male suspect as Bonsell. Two months earlier, he had performed an evaluation on him as a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).
Peters spoke with Trooper Andrew Mills, who was also able to identify Bonsell. Mills said a month earlier, Bonsell was involved in a traffic stop and was wearing the same hat as in the school security video. This information was confirmed by Mills’ partner.
On Oct. 16, Bonsell arrived at the Clearfield barracks for an interview. He claimed he had a “limited recollection” of the morning in question because he’d used all his methamphetamine and blacked out.
The next thing he reportedly remembered was waking up in the driver’s seat of a “strange” vehicle in an apparent park. He said he started to “freak out” and walked down the street, at which point he realized he was in Irvona.
Bonsell thought he went to Dollar General for a drink before walking to Coalport and later going to Altoona. He said he’d been “using hard” and blacking out without any recollection of past events.
Bonsell was then presented with a surveillance photo and video and reportedly agreed it was him inside the school.