The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 31, 2013

Former swim champ can clear theft charge by entering military service

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DANVILLE – A former Danville High School swim champion was given an extension of six months to join the military and avoid theft charges.

Nicholas John Hein, 22, of 514 E. Front St., was charged with theft and receiving stolen property involving a money box from the swim team during a meet at the Danville Area Community Center.

Danville police refiled the charges after Hein did not fulfill an agreement at the time when charges were dismissed against him.

Center officials previously said they didn’t want him prosecuted so charges were dismissed. Hein had gone through rehabilitation and planned to enter the military.

County District Attorney Rebecca Warren opposed the extension approved by Columbia-Montour Counties President Judge Thomas James Jr. Wednesday.

Hein was a PIAA champion swimmer for Danville High School in the 50-freesyle and 100-freesyle in 2008. He was a member of the 400-freestyle relay team that still holds a high school record set in 2008.

He was charged with stealing a money box containing $451 from the Danville Dolphins Swim Team during a swim meet Jan. 7 at the center. Parents of swimmers chased him through Danville neighborhoods as he held the cash box he admitted to stealing.

Police said they found Hein at his home following the theft. Hein agreed to speak with police at the police station and admitted to taking the money and showed police where the cash box and money were. Hein led police to a garage area to the rear of their home where he removed the cash box from under a couch cushion, police said.

Hein led police to his bedroom where he showed officers two large bundles of cash. Police also found a gray hoodie sweatshirt he wore during the theft.