Fred Wheaton, Wysox
Andrew Joseph Brunson, 29, of Jay, FL, faces charges for burglary, criminal trespass, and criminal mischief after he reportedly broke into a building at the intersection of Routes 6 and 187 in Wysox Township belonging to George Nesbit between 11 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 1:15 a.m. on Dec. 13. Nesbit reported to police that he arrived at his office in the building that houses a tattoo parlor and a bar to find the front window smashed in, as well as the windows of the tattoo parlor. Police interviewed a bartender who told them that, during the previous evening, Brunson had come into the bar twice looking for the tattoo artist because he was unhappy with his tattoo and wanted touch-up work. He apparently left the bar after 11 p.m., but returned the next morning to see if anybody had found his wallet, which she told him she had not seen but would call him if she did. Nothing was reported missing from the tattoo studio, and the report does not specify how Brunson’s wallet was turned over to police. But, when the reporting officer called Brunson, the defendant apparently indicated that he was already on his way to the police station to pick up his wallet because the bartender had informed him that it was in the custody of police. Brunson allegedly denied his involvement in the break-in at first, but later changed his story, according to police, and said that a long-haired, heavyset man had entered the tattoo parlor with him. Brunson’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for Dec. 27. On Dec. 12, Brunson was arrested for retail theft after allegedly stealing a magnetic centering head valued at $63.99 from R.C. Welding in Monroeton at about 1:15 p.m.
Joshua Thomas Merritt, 22, Wyalusing, faces charges for burglary, theft, and receiving stolen property for his involvement in the Aug. 15 break-in of the Dollar General Store in the Farm and Home Plaza in Wyalusing, during which $11,392 was removed from the store’s safe. The store’s assistant manager, Amber Lambert, told police that she closed the store at 9 p.m. on Aug. 14 and left the building about a half hour later. She opened the store the next morning and realized that the break-in had occurred. She and police reviewed surveillance video and she identified the female on the footage as Sarabeth Gailit and the male as Merritt, Gailit’s boyfriend. Gailit, Lambert noted, had recently been employed by the store and would have known how to disable the alarm system and open the safe. Gailit was reportedly taken into custody on Dec. 2 and told police that she and Merritt had committed the crime and had spent the majority of the cash on heroin. Merritt’s preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 10.