The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 26, 2012

Middleburg man faces trial in six Snyder County church burglaries

MIDDLEBURG  — An 18-year-old Middleburg man will be tried in Snyder County on six felony burglary and related charges for breaking into several churches this year.

John James Shaffer II told state police he was looking for a place to stay when he illegally entered six churches between May 28 and June 13, causing damage and stealing several hundreds of dollars’ worth of items.

His grandmother, Rita Brunson, of Middleburg, attended Tuesday’s preliminary hearing at District Judge Lori R. Hackenberg’s Middleburg courthouse. She declined to speak publicly about Shaffer’s alleged crimes, but said he hasn’t had a permanent home recently.

Shaffer waived all the charges to Snyder County Court, including six counts of burglary, four counts each of criminal mischief and criminal trespassing and two counts of theft by unlawful taking.

Since April, about 18 churches in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Juniata counties have been burglarized.

Shaffer in August was linked to six break-ins after he allegedly sold a $420 laptop computer stolen from St. Paul’s Reformed Church in Beavertown for $60 to an acquaintance who notified police. Shaffer was arrested in Florida on a warrant in late August and is being held in lieu of $50,000 cash in Snyder County Prison awaiting trial.

He’s accused of stealing the laptop, snacks and refreshments and causing damage to doors as he broke into the following churches: St. Paul’s Reformed Church; Grace Reform Church in Adams Township; St. Paul’s Erdley’s Lutheran Church in Jackson Township; Zion United Methodist Church in Centre Township; Boyer Mennonite Church in Franklin Township and Beavertown Methodist Church.


Text Only
  • Tawny Dog owners not surprised to learn pooches get jealous

    DANVILLE — Dogs are often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows that pooches can get a little green over how much time you spend with other canines.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • lottery Big lottery payouts pay off for seniors

    HARRISBURG — State lottery officials say less means more for seniors.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Donations to Budd family near $60,000

    SHAMOKIN DAM — The Valley continues to give as fundraisers keep forming and donations steadily pour in for the Budd family, of Ohio, while Sharon Budd continues her fight back from drastic injuries suffered when a rock thrown from an Interstate 80 overpass in Union County slammed through the windshield of the family’s vehicle three weeks ago.

    July 30, 2014

  • B-17 fly-over to honor 'Dutch' VanKirk

    NORTHUMBERLAND — A Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress will soar in honor of the late Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk during his graveside services Tuesday morning.

    July 30, 2014

  • dogs31.jpg Is Spike spiteful?

    Dog is often considered man’s best friend, but a recent study shows he may be a little green over how much time you spend with other pooches.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • CORBETT_TomC.jpg Corbett: VanKirk helped to save the world

    Gov. Tom Corbett today issued the following statement on the death of Northumberland County native Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay:

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Afraid of grandson? "Now I am," Amanda Trometter says

    Erick Trometter slept with hunting and butcher knives beside his bed while living with the grandmother he allegedly attacked on the morning he was shot after allegedly pulling a knife on a city police officer.

    July 30, 2014

  • vk1.jpg Ted VanKirk: Seen from above

    The Daily Item is republishing online its spring 2012 interview with Northumberland native Ted “Dutch” VanKirk, the navigator of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first of two atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. The story appeared in Inside Pennsylvania magazine. VanKirk died Monday in Georgia at age 93.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • vankirk_ted1.jpg “The Japanese were beaten before we even dropped the bomb”

    Compared to the 58 other missions they ran together, the one they were assigned to carry out on Aug. 6, 1945 was easy.
    There would be no return fire, flying conditions were ideal, and if all went according to plan, they would be back to the base in Tinian by nightfall.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Ritz-Craft Ritz-Craft to hire 60 for Mifflinburg plant

    MIFFLINBURG — Sixty jobs are coming to Mifflinburg as a Ritz-Craft production facility that went dark seven years ago amid the housing downturn will come back on line during the next few months, company officials announced Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

The Daily Marquee

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.