Man charged in 3 thefts
ASHLAND - After an investigation into a rash of burglaries and thefts in November, Ashland Police Chief Adam J. Bernodin Jr. charged Michael Fickinger with three of the incidents.
Fickinger, 18, no fixed address and an inmate at the Schuylkill County Prison, was video arraigned from the prison Friday before Magisterial District Justice Christina Hale, Frackville, according to Bernodin. Hale held separate arraignments for each set of charges. Fickinger is in the county lock-up on charges not related to the Ashland crimes.
Between Nov. 14 and 16, there were eight burglaries and thefts from homes and garages, including the theft of a vehicle that led to damage to the Willow Park softball field.
Bernodin said Fickinger was arraigned on the following incidents:
- Charges of burglary, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property on the theft of various items after breaking into a garage owned by James Dwyer, 25 S. 17th St., on the night of Nov. 14. Some items were recovered in a nearby alley shortly after the burglary.
- Charges of theft by unlawful taking, burglary and receiving stolen property on the burglary on Nov. 16 of the 1006 Centre St. apartment of Kerri Miller and Christopher Reed. Items stolen were medication and cash.
- Charges of theft of a motor vehicle, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, driver required to be licensed, and reckless driving on the theft on Nov. 16 of a 2006 Hyundai Sonata, owned by Brandy Kessler, 1226 Centre St. After stealing the car while it was parked on the 1100 block of Centre Street, police said Fickinger drove to Willow Park, drove through and smashed the front gates of the girls softball field, smashing a picnic bench, drove around the field causing damage, and then tried to drive through a fence, with the car getting hung up on a fence post. The vehicle was abandoned with the engine running. Some of the property stolen from the Miller and Reed residence was found in the vehicle.
Straight bail of $10,000 was set for each arraignment by Hale.
Incidents during the three-day period still under investigation are:
- Rick White, 1730 Spruce St., reported to police that someone broke into his garage Nov. 14 and stole the GPS unit from a Dodge Dakota after smashing the back sliding window.
- Helping Hands Thrift Store, 1005 Centre St. Bernodin said someone broke in overnight Nov. 16, going through a small side window, and stole more than $300 in cash.
- Police were called to the home of Joshua Hubler and Amanda McCauley, 1931 Walnut St. They told police they left the house Nov. 16 and when they returned, they found the house ransacked and about $360 in cash was stolen.
- Margaret Miller, 26 S. 11th St., reported that someone broke into her vehicle and stole medication Nov. 16.
- Police received a call that someone had broken into the home of Edward and Beverly Kane, 1031 Walnut St. about 2 a.m. Nov. 16 when the couple were in bed.
Bernodin reminded residents to keep their vehicles and homes locked. Anyone with information about any of the incidents should call the Ashland police at 875-2600 or call the Schuylkill County Communications Center non-emergency line at 462-1991.