The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 13, 2013

Maid uses house key, steals TVs, police say

By Evamarie Socha
The Daily Item

SUNBURY — LEWISBURG — A Union County woman and her husband returned to a home she had been hired to clean and stole two large-screen televisions worth $2,300, Buffalo Valley Regional Police allege.

Matthew Smith, 31, of Mifflinburg, and Crystal Smith, 29, of Lewisburg, face nearly identical felony charges that include burglary, criminal trespass, receiving stolen property and four counts of conspiracy and were incarcerated in Union County Jail in lieu of $75,000 bail apiece.

The couple was arrested Wednesday for allegedly burglarizing 217 S. Fourth St. earlier last week.

The Smiths conspired to take the TVs from the South Fourth Street home, entering with the key Crystal Smith had been given for a cleaning job she had done earlier, police state.

Jody Adams, caretaker of the home that belongs to his mother, reported the theft to police on Monday, according to court records. He told police he arrived at the home and found a 3-D television missing from the living room. Adams asked his siblings if any of them had taken it and they said they did not. Adams’ mother told him to use a recently purchased TV stored in a upstairs closet, which he also found to be missing, court records show.

Crystal Smith was the only other person with a house key and was to use it only once, Adams told police.

Crystal Smith left Adams a note at the house saying she returned to look the home over after the cleaning job and to leave the key. In the process, she wrote, her son had damaged the TV.

Adams failed to reach Crystal Smith by phone, the affidavit states. Matthew Smith replied to text messages Adams sent to Crystal Smith. Matthew Smith made reference to the note his wife had left and said the couple took the living room TV for repair because of the unspecified damage Crystal’s son had done.

Where was the TV taken for repair? Adams texted Matthew Smith.

Matthew Smith texted he was “taking them” to his sister’s home Tuesday — the plural reference inferred the Smiths had taken both TVs, according to court documents.

Smith did not answer where the TV was taken for repair.

Matthew Smith told his sister, Ali Stotzfus, he took the upstairs TV because it fell off a stand. However, that TV was stored on a floor in a closet, court documents state. Matthew Smith would not tell his sister where he had taken the TVs after she said she would pick up the TVs from the repair shop and pay for them.

The TVs have yet to be returned. Adams valued the 3-D TV at about $1,600 and the smaller TV at about $700.

The Smiths are scheduled for preliminary hearings before District Judge Leo Armbruster in Lewisburg on Nov. 14.