Suspect in burglary spree confesses
JOE PLASKO/TIMES NEWS Charles Emerson Lash, center, is led to his arraignment before Magistrate Stephen J. Bayer for six burglaries in Tamaqua from 2007-2008 by borough patrolman Michael Hobbs, left, and Corporal Henry Woods, right.
A 25 year-old burglary suspect apprehended in Pottsville has confessed to six break-ins in Tamaqua during 2007-08.
Charles Emerson Lash, of West Market Street, Pottsville, is currently incarcerated in Schuylkill County prison for a number of break-ins in the Pottsville area. While in custody he mentioned his involvement in burglaries in Tamaqua.
Lash was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Stephen J. Bayer, of Tamaqua, on Wednesday afternoon for the Tamaqua incidents.
"He confessed to 11 cases in Pottsville, but I heard the count was as high as 15," said Tamaqua Cpl. Henry Woods, the department's criminal investigator. "He made mention of incidents that occurred over here to Pottsville police and they notified us.
"I interviewed him and he confessed to the crimes he did here," added Woods.
Woods has charged Lash with burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and theft by unlawful taking and disposition for six cases, two each at the Citizens Fire Company, Rowe Street, The Tiki Bar, Mauch Chunk Street, and the Italian Club (Christopher Columbus Society), Schuylkill Avenue.
Lash allegedly hit the Italian Club twice in 2007. On June 16 the break-in resulted in the theft of $50 from a machine behind the bar, according to the criminal complaint filed with Bayer. On Aug. 6 Lash returned and is accused of stealing $460 from the pool tables at the club as well as a can of beef jerky.
Later in 2007 Lash allegedly burglarized the Tiki Bar twice. On Nov. 22 he is accused of removing $1,000 in cash from the bar area. On Dec. 23 he is believed to have smashed a jukebox and claw machine, stealing $700 and causing $4,228.28 in damages to the jukebox.
The largest heists occurred at the Citizens Fire Company, which was victimized twice in 2008.
For the Jan. 19 burglary of that year Lash has been charged with breaking into the fire company's safe and register and removing a total of $7,807.25, causing $920 in damages.
Later in 2008, on June 30, Lash is accused of burglarizing the safe and register once again, this time making off with $2,177.98.
During Lash's arraignment Woods noted he had served Lash with warrants and criminal complaints for all six cases. Lash indicated he planned to use a public defender in each of the cases.
"There looks to be a pattern and intent here," said Bayer, who set bail high for each of the six cases at $100,000 straight cash, a total of $600,000 on top of his existing bail with Pottsville police.
A preliminary hearing on the Tamaqua cases has been tentatively set for July 6.