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Lansford man waives his hearing; police say he stole from neighbor

Published January 28. 2010 05:00PM

A Lansford man facing charges he burglarized the home of his neighbor, Wednesday waived a preliminary hearing scheduled before District Judge Casimir Kosciolek in Lansford.

Ryan Gorka, 26, of West Ridge Street, allegedly committed the crimes to purchase heroin.

Charges include burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, and receiving stolen property.

Court papers indicate that the amount of loss to the victim totaled $4,080.

The arrest stems from a series of burglaries which occurred at the residence of Mark Zimmerman on West Ridge Street between Sept. 1 and Oct. 10, 2009.

The affidavit, completed by Lansford Detective Sergeant Jack Soberick and police officer Bob Shubeck, states that police were informed on Sept. 27 by Zimmerman of burglaries which occurred at his residence.

"The victim, Mr. Zimmerman, reported that he and his wife had just realized that throughout the month of September various items as well as cash, had disappeared from inside of their residence."

The missing valuables included various denominations of U.S. coins, some of which were uncirculated collectors coins, the affidavit said.

Most prominent among the missing items was about $130 worth of coins belonging to Zimmerman's son as well as a Sony brand Play station Protable.

Gorka, states the affidavit, was a suspect immediately. The affidavit says he worked for the Zimmerman family on numerous occasions and also lived next door. The affidavit alleges Gorka "was familiar with the home and the location of various items, as well as being familiar with the work and school hours of the family."

Video cameras were set up in the Zimmerman home and from Oct. 2 to Oct. 5, Gorka was observed burglarizing the residence, says the affidavit.

The police report continues, "On Tuesday (Oct. 20), Lansford police arrested two street level dealers of heroin and subsequent to this arrest, officers Horos and Tom discovered a Sony PSP in the vehicle of one of these subjects."

Allegedly one of the defendants gave a statement to police that he received the Playstation from Gorka "and in return provided him with heroin."

The report said Gorka was cooperative when apprehended and told police he was suffering from heroin addiction. He said, according to his affidavit, that "in his desperation to find money to fuel his habit, he had burglarized the Zimmerman home, taken whatever valuables he could quickly get in exchange for heroin."

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