2 waive rights in Coal Township thefts
SHAMOKIN - A 33-year-old Coal Township man and his paramour charged in a series of burglaries in the west end of the township waived their rights to preliminary hearings Tuesday morning and were ordered by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III to appear for plea court March 17 at Northumberland County Courthouse.
Eric J. Weikel, of 1321 W. Spruce St., and his 27-year-old live-in girlfriend, Christine Rate, who has cooperated with authorities in their ongoing investigation, waived their cases to the Court of Common Pleas.
They both remain incarcerated at Northumberland County Prison.
Weikel waived felonies of burglary and criminal trespass and misdemeanors of theft and receiving stolen property relating to an Oct. 29 incident at the residence of Brent Reed, 1325 W. Spruce St. Reed is the sixth victim Weikel has been charged with burglarizing.
Rate waived four felony counts each of burglary, criminal conspiracy and criminal trespass, and three felony counts each of theft and receiving stolen property in connection with burglaries at 1223, 1323, 1326 and 1327 W. Spruce St. between Oct. 1 and Nov. 13.
Weikel previously waived to court a hearing involving the same four burglaries Rate was charged with and an Oct. 23 burglary at the home of Michael Robtain, 1354 W. Spruce St., Coal Township, in which he allegedly stole $13,000 in jewelry.
All the charges were filed by Coal Township Detective Jeff Brennan.
Weikel also was previously charged with drug-related offenses filed by Coal Township and Shamokin police.