The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

October 4, 2010

Man charged with stealing tobacco products from a vehicle

By Karen Blackledge
The Danville News

— DANVILLE – Police charged a borough man with stealing cigars, smokeless tobacco and other tobacco products worth $2,200 from a sales representative’s vehicle.

Danville police charged Ryan C. Wendell, 19, of 7 C St., with theft by unlawful taking, theft from a vehicle and receiving stolen property Sept. 20 in the 500 block of Bloom St.

He was arraigned by Montour County District Judge Marvin Shrawder Thursday and released on $10,000 unsecured bail.

Matthew Pelton, a sales representative for Swedish Match Tobacco who lives at 520 Bloom St., told police he parked his van Sept. 19 in the Shiloh United Church of Christ lot.

He discovered the rear tailgate open the next morning. Numerous boxes of tobacco products had been removed, including store displays, various types of smokeless tobacco, cigars, and cigarillos.

Sunbury police contacted Danville police to tell them a woman turned in a box of cigarillos Sept. 20. The woman told police Wendell attempted to sell them to her and left the cigarillos with her anyway, telling her he stole them from a vehicle in Danville the morning of Sept. 20. Pelton later identified them as some of the inventory that was stolen, police said.

After police received information about Wendell living one block from the church, he was interviewed and admitted being “very drunk” and “doing something stupid,” according to the charges. He told police some of the items were in a house in Danville and some were at a house in Sunbury.

The same woman in Sunbury told police that on Sept. 21 she refused to allow Wendell to keep the cigars at her house but her boyfriend gave Wendell a ride to another home. As Wendell was leaving, he dropped a box of cigars, she said. She called Sunbury police and turned the cigars over to them, according to the charges filed by Sgt. William Wilt III.

A man at the Danville house where the stolen items were being stored told police Wendell had come back and taken most of them but left some behind. The man turned the rest over to police.

Police said Wendell appeared Sept. 22 at the Danville Police Station with a large box of tobacco products.

Pelton identified the items as those that had been in his van, police said.