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Police Blotter

February 20. 2013 1:39AM
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SUGAR NOTCH – A Hunlock Creek man was arrested and charged Wednesday in connection with a burglary on Main Street in December.

Police responded to 804-806 Main St. on Dec. 19 for a report of a burglary. The thief, police said, entered 806 Main St. through a window and 804 Main St. through a front door. Jewelry valued at approximately $5,000 was stolen from two rooms at 804 Main St.

The residents told police they suspected Michael Zotte because he came to their homes on Dec. 18 asking for money – a request they denied. Zotte also was known to a pit bull that lives in the house. Police recovered some of the jewelry from King Tut Jewelry and more of the jewelry from Valdez Buy and Sell, both in Wilkes-Barre, in January.

While conducting surveillance in connection with the case on Tuesday, Police Chief Chris Pelchar and officer Joe McGlynn saw Zotte driving on Main Street in a vehicle with an expired inspection sticker and pulled him over. They discovered Zotte also had a suspended license, police said.

Zotte, 39, of Sweet Valley Road, Hunlock Creek, was taken into custody and, under questioning, admitted to the burglary and that he had accomplices sell the jewelry for him, adding that he was addicted to prescription pain killers, police said.

Zotte was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, driving with a suspended license and driving without valid vehicle inspection. He was arraigned before District Judge Joseph Halesey and locked up at the county prison for lack of $25,000 bail. His preliminary hearing is set for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 29 before Halesey.

HANOVER TWP. – Ronald Griffith, 20, of Metcalf Street, Hanover Township, was charged on Tuesday with drunken driving, three counts of defiant trespass, careless driving, minors operating a vehicle with alcohol in their system and underage consumption of alcohol in connection with an incident in December, police said.

Police said Griffith crashed a 2002 Chevrolet into a guide post on East Liberty Street at about 3:20 a.m. Dec. 22 and was found to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.288 percent when tested after the crash. He later refused to leave police headquarters with a responsible party and had to be escorted out of the building, police said.

An adult with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent is considered intoxicated according to state law. A preliminary hearing is pending, police said.

DORRANCE TWP. – State police at Hazleton discovered a stolen vehicle abandoned at mile marker 154.9 just before 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The blue 2005 Ford Escape was stolen from Pablo Rosario, of Holyoke, Mass., on Jan. 6 in Springfield, Mass.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should call state police at 570-459-3890.

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