Montrose Teen Charged For Multiple Thefts
By Rick Hiduk
After months of investigating several thefts in the Warren Township area, state police at Towanda have charged Gabriel Scott Moran, 18, Montrose, with burglary, criminal mischief, theft and criminal trespass. The burglaries occurred on May 6 and July 30/31 and resulted in material loss and damages of about $11,000. Police allege that Moran made victims out of Wagner’s Store in Warren Center, the Warren Center Municipal Building in Warren Township and the Area Agency on Aging. Moran reportedly told his girlfriend at the time and a male acquaintance that he planned to sell the items that he had stolen to prevent one of his brothers from losing his apartment.
On May 6, Moran allegedly removed 50 cartons of cigarettes, a case of cigarette lighters and 132 DVD movies—a total of $7,020 in merchandise—from Wagner’s Store, which is owned by Susan Wagner. In addition to the theft, Moran is deemed responsible for about $500 in damages, including the shattering of a six-by-four-foot side window to gain access to the building.
“He took a big rock and smashed a big hole in it,” Wagner related, adding that Moran also damaged a roll-up blind as he climbed through the opening. The storeowner was initially surprised when she discovered the break-in and theft, but became less so when she learned who might have done it. Moran’s family frequented the business, and there had been some previous problems involving him and the store. Though Wagner has not recovered any of the recently stolen items, the merchandise was insured.
Between 10:30 p.m. on July 30 and 6:30 a.m. on July 31, police allege that Moran forcibly entered the Warren Center Municipal Building, which was set up and decorated for a bridal shower slated for that Sunday. Township supervisor Fred Wheaton was one of the first people to discover extensive damage to the interior of the building and to notice that a golf cart used by township employees to get around the property was missing.
Moran apparently moved swiftly through the building, trying every door and drawer in a search for cash and other sellable items. In addition to the golf cart, a chain saw, a couple digital cameras, candy and $280 in cash earmarked for the Area Agency on Aging were taken from the building. The perpetrator’s efforts to vanquish any fingerprints resulted in a big mess.
“Anything they touched, they spray painted,” said Wheaton, in reference to brown paint found throughout the building on doorknobs, drawer handles and the handles to refrigerator and freezer. Luckily, Wheaton noted, the turmoil did not prevent the bridal shower from taking place, even though the defendant discarded some of the gifts that had been left there the previous day.
According to Wheaton, authorities recovered the golf cart later on July 31 after Moran took two of his brothers, Ian and Cody Bond, and his friend, Duston Brown, on a joyride through town. Brown, who later told police that Moran had told him that he took the golf cart, also related that the young man wrecked the vehicle, which resulted in a head injury to Ian Bond. Wheaton noted that the golf cart required about $900 worth of repairs to put it back into service.
Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Miranda Musick interviewed Moran’s former girlfriend, Whitney Cramer, on Aug. 24. Cramer indicated that Moran told her about breaking into the store and detailed the items that he had taken. She saw an unopened carton of cigarettes and several of the DVDs, which still had the sales stickers on them. Musick interviewed Brown on the same date, and his testimony of what Moran told him matched the descriptions of damage and items stolen from the municipal building. Both Cramer and Brown related that Moran said that he had committed the crimes in order to raise money to prevent his brother, Jesse Bond, from losing his apartment.
Moran was arraigned by magisterial district Justice Fred Wheaton on Sept. 17 and was originally slated for a preliminary hearing on Sept. 17. A representative from Wheaton’s Wysox Township office said that the hearing had been postponed and a new date had not yet been posted.