HONESDALE, WAYNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The Wayne County District Attorney announced on Monday the arrest of a Forest City man for the attempted burglary of a Bistro and the burglary of an apartment in Honesdale.
According to a police criminal complaint, on Friday, September 23, Honesdale police responded to the Stourbridge Bistro in the 800 block of Main Street, for a report of an attempted burglary.
Police say when they arrived at the Bistro they spoke with the owner who noticed the screen from the back door was laying on the ground, leaning against the door. The owner also took note of the damage to the screen consistent with ‘pry marks.’
Officers say surveillance footage showed a white male wearing a gray hoodie, brown denim vest, and a black knit hat with his hood up, walk up to the back door several times, moving in and out of the camera’s view, pulling items such as flashlight out of his backpack, manipulating the door, trying to get in.
At one point he is seen with needle nose pliers in his hands as he removes the screen from the back door, law enforcement says.
Officers were then given a still photo from the video of the male and two deputies recognized the man as Tyler Austin, 26, who is known to visit or live within the 300 block of Riverside Drive.
On Friday, September 23, around 3:00 p.m., police executed a search warrant at the address on Riverside Drive for suspected drug violations. Detectives found the clothing Austin was wearing in the surveillance video and they were seized as evidence, along with a pair of needle nose pliers found as well.
According to law enforcement, there was one resident at the home that confirmed Austin was there earlier in the day but had left prior to the search warrant being served.
On Monday, September 26, a second victim reported a stolen purse from her apartment in the 100 block of 9th Street, that contained numerous items including debit cards from the Dime Bank. The following Wednesday, the second victim’s daughter showed police a transaction sheet from the Dime Bank with purchases totaling $160 and a transaction for gas from Turkey Hill. However, the victim does not own a vehicle, law enforcement says.
The criminal complaint reads that police then went to Turkey Hill and viewed video surveillance in which they saw Austin, wearing the same hoodie and vest, making the purchases.
Police say Austin was taken into custody on a different warrant in Dickson City on Sunday, September 25, and was escorted back to Wayne County. Detectives told Honesdale police that a search of the vehicle Austin was found in, turned out to have credit and debit cards belonging to the second victim inside of it.
Officers say a search of the vehicle was conducted and the second victim’s purse, wallet, credit and debit cards were all found. Police then spoke with Dusteen Chmelik, who was driving Austin around the day he was taken into custody.
Officers say Chmelik told them she was with Austin when the purchases were made at Turkey Hill and she asked him where he got the credit cards from. Austin told her he went into “the white building across from the park with the wrap-around porch and found them inside.”
The description of the building matches the apartment that was broken into on 9th Street, police say.
Austin was taken into custody and arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Kay Bates. His bail was set at $50,000 and he was remanded to the Wayne County Correction Facility.
Austin faces charges of attempted burglary, loitering/prowling at night, burglary, receiving stolen property, and several misdemeanors for the incident at Stourbridge Bistro and the theft at the apartment on 9th Street.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for both crimes on October 26 at 9:00 a.m.