The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


October 15, 2012

Smart phone leads police to burglar

LEWISBURG — A 21-year-old Lewisburg man who allegedly had been breaking into homes occupied by Bucknell University students was nabbed after the owner of an iPhone taken in one of the burglaries alerted police that GPS tracking software indicated the address where the loot was being stored.

Tristan Swigart was arrested by Buffalo Valley Regional Police and charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft, loitering and prowling, and criminal mischief.

Police said at just before 5 a.m. Sept. 15, four Bucknell co-eds reported that someone had broken into their apartment at 31 S. Sixth St. while three of the occupants were sleeping upstairs. The fourth woman was not home at the time.

One of the co-eds told police that she heard a noise at 4 a.m. and went to the landing and yelled down, but went back to bed when no one responded, believing that the noise may have been a roommate returning home. When that fourth woman did return home, she found that they had been burglarized.

Taken were a 32-inch flat-screen television, a DVD player, a bottle of Three Olive vodka, a bottle of wine and a bottle of champagne.

Police found the TV about 25 yards from the house, and a footprint was discovered near the TV. Two days later, police received a report that a DVD player had been ditched behind 617 or 621 Market St. A sneaker was found with the DVD player. Police said the tread from the sneaker matched the footprint found near the TV.

The most damning clue was yet to come, officers said.

A student who lives at 108 S. Sixth St. reported that someone stole a TV, an iPhone and two MacBooks from her. She said she had GPS tracking software that indicated her iPhone had been taken to 113 N. Third St.

Police did not know the exact app the woman used to track her iPhone, but the device comes with an internal GPS receiver. A GPS Phone Tracker is a free app for iPhones available through Apple.

Officers went to the North Third Street home and interviewed the occupants, including Shana Swigart, who allowed police to search the property. While doing so, officers found a locked room, which Shana Swigart said was a room her brother, Tristan Swigart, uses. When police entered, they allegedly found items taken from 108 S. Sixth St., 31 S. Sixth St. and 114 S. Sixth St.

Police allegedly also found a bottle of Three Olives vodka and an apparent match to the sneaker found by the DVD player.

These GPS tracking apps have turned into a crime-fighting tool. On Friday, Sacramento, Calif., police apprehended a purse-snatcher when the woman victim remembered her iPhone had a GPS tracking app. She activated the app and notified police.

Text Only
  • 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

  • Selinsgrove man dies when tractor flips in Chapman Township

    PORT TREVORTON — A 57-year-old Selinsgrove man died Tuesday evening when the farm tractor he was driving overturned and pinned him beneath it, according to Snyder County Coroner Bruce Hummel.

    July 29, 2014

  • VanKirk 'Real hero' of World War II dies

    ATLANTA, Ga. — Theodore “Dutch” VanKirk, the last surviving crew member of the Enola Gay, which dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, died Monday of natural causes in the retirement home where he lived in Georgia. He was 93.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mayor: Rental ban for drug dealers a success

    SUNBURY — A controversial landlord-tenant ordinance passed by the City Council in 2012 has become one of Sunbury’s “better success stories,” Mayor David Persing said Tuesday.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mom cited for allegedly leaving baby in car for 12 minutes

    LEWISBURG — A summary citation carrying a maximum fine of $127.50 was filed Tuesday against a Lewisburg woman accused of leaving her 10-month-old baby unattended for 12 minutes in a car in Union County on July 21.

    July 29, 2014

  • Line Mountain district, teachers $1.2M apart in contract talks

    MANDATA — Separate proposals from the Line Mountain School District and its teachers union are $1.2 million apart and not getting any closer, according to Benjamin L. Pratt, the district’s labor counsel at the CGA Law Firm.

    July 29, 2014

  • Road work: Expect traffic delays on Route 54 near Danville

    RIVERSIDE — Motorists in the Danville-Riverside area are advised that a 2.2-mile micro-surfacing project on Route 54 from Riverside borough to Boyd Station in Northumberland County will begin this afternoon.

    July 29, 2014

  • Blood trail leads to stabbing suspect in Montour County

    DANVILLE — Borough police followed a trail of blood along a sidewalk, up a staircase and down a hallway that led to a moaning woman who they say knifed another woman Sunday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Spencer_Maria1.jpg Maria Spencer charged with murdering her ex-husband

    SELINSGROVE — On Monday, a little more than two years after Frank Spencer was executed outside his Columbia County home, his former wife and her father were charged in his murder and the attempted homicide of Spencer’s girlfriend.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Opponents, supporters to discuss clean air rules

    DENVER — Hundreds of people are expected to attend public hearings this week in a handful of cities across the U.S. to tell federal regulators what they think of proposed rules to cut pollution from power plants.

    July 29, 2014

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.