Arrest warrants are issued, one for arson
Lansford police are looking for three men.
They are Kyle Frantz, Greg Muffley, and Jonathan Findley.
A felony warrant has been issued for Frantz, 19, whose last known address was 243 E. Ridge St., Lansford.
Frantz is charged with three counts of arson, risking a catastrophe, and criminal mischief after an incident which took place on May 16 on the 200 block of E. Ridge Street.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, at 1:47 a.m. May 16, Officer Jeffrey Ohl was dispatched to the 200 block of East Bertsch Street to check a report of a vehicle fire. He saw a fire in the area of the rear passenger quarter panel of a blue Mercury Sable, registered to a Katelyn Atkinson.
The car was close to other vehicles and homes.
Frantz was suspected to have set the fire. The affidavit says Ohl spoke with him on May 24 while Frantz was an inmate at the Carbon County Correctional Facility, and Frantz admitted to having set the fire because he was angry with Atkinson.
Frantz told Ohl that on May 16, he had been thinking about the events that had made him angry, and that he put lighter fluid into an empty beer bottle. He went to Atkinson's car, stuffed a bandanna into the fuel neck and lit it. He went across the street and waited until he saw the bandanna catch fire, then went home.
He gave Ohl a written statement of the admission. On June 11, Ohl received documentation from Atkinson's insurance company that the car, valued at $2,519.50, was a total loss.
A warrant was also issued for Muffley, 29, whose last known address was 114 Patterson St., Tamaqua. Muffley has been charged with escape, fleeing and eluding, and driving under suspension stemming from an incident on March 29 on East Patterson Street.
According to the affidavit, at 2:29 a.m. March 29, Officer Joshua Tom saw a dark colored VW sedan traveling east on East Patterson Street, traveling at about 50-60 MPH. A white woman with blond hair was hanging out of the sun roof, her arms flung wide and her head tilted back.
Tom followed the car, which turned around at the intersection of Andrewsville and East Patterson. Tom turned on his emergency lights and pulled in front of the car. But the driver, a man with brown hair, kept going, passing the cruiser. The driver headed back toward Lansford and pulled into a private drive marked "Knepper's Lane."
Tom followed the car up the lane, and saw that it was stopped at a dead end. He saw two women in the car, one of whom was the blond he had seen hanging out of the sun roof.
Tom called the Carbon County Communications Center for information on the car's owner, and Summit Hill police for backup.
He approached the car and saw that the male driver was not inside. The woman in the front seat was identified as Lindsay Gombert, and she was "extremely intoxicated," the affidavit says.
Gombert, who owns the car, said the driver had taken off through the woods.
The blond woman in the back seat was also allegedly extremely intoxicated. She was identified as Maria Conrad, and told Tom she did not know the name of the driver.
At the Summit Hill police station, Gombert stated the driver was Muffley.
Conrad also admitted the driver was Muffley, and told police she had told Muffley, who is her boyfriend, to run because he did not have a valid license, and she did not want him to get into trouble.
Police also have an active warrant for Jonathan Findley, 22, whose last known address was 413 E. Patterson St., Lansford. He faces charges stemming from vandalism that done on April 3 at the Panther Valley stadium. Findley is charged with institutional vandalism and criminal mischief.
According to an affidavit filed by Officer Tom, Findley admitted spray painting graffiti on the stadium walls in the early morning hours. He also allegedly posted the same graffiti on his Facebook page.
He had spoken with Tom and admitted the crime. Findley told police that he would take full responsibility for his actions, but he never showed up for a scheduled interview.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the men is asked to contact police at (570) 645-5844.