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Deceased fire chief's home is burglarized

Published May 03. 2011 05:00PM

A preliminary hearing will be held Wednesday for a Lehighton man who is accused of breaking into the home of deceased Lehighton Fire Chief John "Jack" Kuller Jr. The break in was discovered at 6:45 p.m. Monday, April 25, within days after Kuller's death.

Kuller passed away on the morning of Friday, April 22.

The person arrested in the incident was Ryan T. Heiser, 29, of 415 N. Fourth St., a neighbor who lived in the other half of the double home which had been occupied by Kuller.

The break in was discovered by Kuller's family members who contacted police.

Family members had been inside the home up until 11 p.m. the evening before the break in.

Lehighton police arrested Heiser and charged him with burglary, criminal trespass and theft.

It is believed that Heiser entered the home through a basement window. A collection of foreign coins and a rosary were among the items missing from Kuller's home.

Heiser was arraigned last week before duty District Judge Casimir Kosciolek, of Lansford, and committed to the county prison in Nesquehoning, after failing to post $2,500 straight cash bail.

The preliminary hearing is scheduled at 1:45 p.m. tomorrow at the office of District Justice Edward Lewis, Jim Thorpe.

The home is being monitored to prevent future break ins.

Chief Deputy Coroner James Hauser, who served in the fire department under Kuller, said Kuller died of natural causes.

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