Police: Alleged truck thief is suspect in tattoo shop burglary
SHAMOKIN - A city man jailed Monday following an attempted vehicle theft from a Sunbury Street convenience store is accused of burglarizing a tattoo parlor minutes earlier.
Police said a witness identified Cyrus Lewis, 34, as the suspect in a burglary at Relentless Tattoos, 228 W. Independence St., about 8 p.m. Monday, less than 30 minutes before he was apprehended in the attempted theft of a pickup truck from the parking lot of Friendly Choice convenience store, 517 E. Sunbury St.
Officers were dispatched to the tattoo parlor and spoke with the witness, who said a male - later identified as Lewis - was standing near a side window. Lewis had also spoken with a woman in a brown Chevy, according to a police affidavit. The witness provided the vehicle's registration.
The affidavit says the witness told police an air conditioner that had been in the property's side window was later observed to be on the ground, and that Lewis had walked out the property's front door and around the corner to Coal Street.
Police used the registration information to identify the vehicle's owner as Heather Nolter. According to the affidavit, Nolter told police she drove Lewis to the property, waited while Lewis "disappeared" and picked him up on Coal Street after he had called her cell phone.
Darren Miller, owner of Relentless Tattoos, confirmed the break-in to police, reporting two tattoo guns and a laptop computer were stolen. Other electronics were stacked by the front door, he told police, adding that he suspected Lewis in the theft.
The witness was asked by police to go to the Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital, where he saw Lewis and told officers he was "probably" the man he observed breaking into 228 W. Independence St.
Lewis was at the hospital to undergo blood testing as he was suspected to be intoxicated when he allegedly jumped into a 2008 Chevrolet Silverado about 8:25 p.m. Monday and drove out of the convenience store parking lot in reverse, across Sunbury Street and into a tree. The vehicle's owner, Trevor Tamkus, had jumped partially inside too, holding onto the truck while he struggled with Lewis to prevent the theft. Lewis was kept on scene by Tamkus and a witness until police arrived.
Lewis was found in possession of syringes and a spoon, police said.
Tamkus told police he observed Lewis acting suspiciously outside the store just prior to the attempted theft.
Lewis is charged in the Independence Street break-in with felony counts of burglary and criminal trespass and a misdemeanor count of theft. Charges against him in the Sunbury Street incident are two felony counts of robbery, felony theft, misdemeanor counts of possession of drug paraphernalia, simple assault, reckless endangerment and driving under the influence and a summary count of driving with a suspended license.
He was arraigned on all charges Tuesday by Magisterial District Judge John Gembic III and returned to Northumberland County Prison, Sunbury, in lieu of $30,000 cash bail. Preliminary hearings for both cases are scheduled for Tuesday morning.
Additional charges are pending against Lewis stemming from a one-vehicle accident Saturday along Route 901. Coal Township police took him into custody on suspicion of driving under the influence after he crashed a Dodge Neon head-on into a tree near Industrial Park Road.
Two cases are pending against Lewis in Perry County for separate incidents involving an alleged theft in February and a traffic accident in March.