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Guns, jewelry stolen from JT chief's home

Published February 04. 2010 05:00PM

A police officer found himself to be a crime victim.

Joseph Schatz, who recently was named chief of police in Jim Thorpe, had his home burglarized in early December. Taken were guns and jewelry.

The suspect is his brother-in-law.

A hearing was scheduled yesterday for Ashton Fuller Jr., 34, of South Ninth Street, Lehighton, on charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property.

Fuller opted to waive the charges to Carbon County Court. The hearing was to have been held before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe.

Schatz, at the time of the burglary, was residing on South Street in Lehighton.

Patrolman Michael J. Svetik of the Lehighton Police Department, the investigating officer, said in the affidavit that more than $2,000 was stolen as well as three guns: a 30/30 lever action rifle, a Stevens 20 gauge double barrel shotgun, and an unknown make .22 caliber bolt action rifle.

The report says a pear-shaped, diamond ring, which Schatz's wife, Lisa, identified as hers, was recovered.

The affidavit says Fuller admitted to Svetik that "he entered his sister's house through the back door when they weren't home." Fuller told the police officer, according to the affidavit, that he took the guns and jewelry and "sold them to different people for cash."

Svetik writes in his report, "When I asked him who he sold the guns to, he would only say that he was in the process of getting them back."

In other matters before Lewis yesterday:

• Wayne Alfred Gutwein, 46, of Albrightsville, waived a hearing on charges of simple assault and harassment. He will be applying for participation in the ARD program.

• Anthony J. Mongi, 55, of West Vernon Street, Summit Hill, waived his hearing and will plead guilty to charges of tampering with or fabricating evidence (drug paraphernalia), resisting arrest, and possession of marijuana. He was charged by Scott J. Christman, Waterways Conservation Officer with the Pa. Fish and Boat Commission. The charges arise from an incident along Switchback Trail adjacent to Mauch Chunk Creek on Aug. 6.

• Charles Alan Skupien, 48, of Indian Trail Drive, Jim Thorpe, waived a hearing regarding charges of resisting arrest, an accident involving an unattended vehicle, and driving a vehicle while operating privileges are suspended. He was charged on Dec. 24 in Jim Thorpe.

• Sara McTague, 21, of Freeland, waived a hearing on possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of a small amount of marijuana. She is anticipating admission to the court's ARD program. She was charged on Nov. 26.

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