C.S. arrest uncovers burglary ring

First Posted: 2/13/2013

CLARKS SUMMIT- The day, Jan. 11, began with a call that came into the Clarks Summit police department. A resident reported garage door damage on Haven Lane.

Officer Robert Shedlock was dispatched to investigate.

That's unusual, Shedlock said of the damage. But that doesn't necessarily scream burglary.

Then another call came in: a garage door had been smashed by a car in the same neighborhood. This time, the residents reported that an intruder had been inside the house.

While I was doing the second call...We had a third call, Shedlock said. It became pretty evident that they were all related.

Witnesses provided a description of the suspect and the car, a Silver Subaru Forester. Police were on high alert..

It was about an hour after we cleared the last call that there was a report of a driver coming off the Interstate (81), Shedlock said. The vehicle was driving erratically. Guess what kind of car it was?

A Silver Subaru Forester exited I-81 at Clarks Summit and headed toward the Abingtons. The Lackawanna County Emergency Communications Center alerted South Abington Township and Clarks Summit police to the incoming vehicle, he said.

The Subaru entered Taco Bell's drive-thru and Shedlock watched from across the street. The car and driver matched the descriptions provided by witnesses, according to Shedlock.

Shedlock followed the car into Clarks Summit's jurisdiction and made a traffic stop.

The vehicle had front-end damage, he said, and white streaks of paint across its hood.

You don't need a search warrant to see the outside of a car, Shedlock said.

I started to ask her (the driver) questions, Shedlock said. She gave me conflicting answers.

Shedlock placed the suspect, Elle Massetti, 23, of 326 Hardwood Drive, Clarks Summit, under arrest.

A search of Massetti and her car yielded about a dozen bags of suspected heroin. The police also found a cache of jewelry, most of which was linked to similar burglaries in South Abington Twp., he said.

Now, about a month later, Massetti has been linked to several other burglaries, Shedlock and Police Chief Joe Laguzzi said.

Police have not ruled out the presence of accomplices, Laguzzi added.

Clark Summit's top cop called Shedlock observant and his efforts real good police work. Massetti remains in Lackawanna County Prison after failing to make bail. The criminal case against her is on hold pending the outcomes of ongoing investigations, Laguzzi said.

Clarks Summit police are seeking victims to return their stolen items. Some items, however, were sold at Luzerne County pawn shops and probably will not be recovered, Laguzzi said.

The chief asked anyone with information to call the department at 570.587.3026 or the Communications Center at 570.342.9111.

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