Harveys Lake police arrest man in theft from cars

First Posted: 9/18/2009

HARVEYS LAKE – Police on Friday arrested a man they suspect paired with another person to steal items from vehicles.

Eric Sickler, 28, of Noxen, was charged with three counts of access device fraud, and one count each of criminal conspiracy and theft. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $10,000 bail.

Police Chief Daniel Evancho said Sickler and the other person, Daniel Browning, are responsible for a rash of thefts from vehicles earlier this month.

According to the criminal complaint:

A homeowner on Lakeside Drive reported on Sept. 10 that a global positioning system  and other items were stolen from two vehicles, and a wallet containing money and credit cards was stolen from the residence. Other car owners also reported that items were stolen from their vehicles.

Police learned that a credit card stolen from the Lakeside Drive residence was used to purchase items at two businesses in the Back Mountain, an was denied at a Wilkes-Barre Township department store on Sept. 10. Police reviewed surveillance tapes from the businesses that allegedly showed two men using the stolen credit card, the criminal complaint says.

The investigation led police to Sickler, who was questioned on Thursday.

Sickler told police, according to the criminal complaint, that Browning bragged about all the money he could get from vehicles at Harveys Lake. Sickler agreed to go along with Browning to steal items from vehicles. As they walked up a driveway, Sickler claimed Browning looked in a window and saw a wallet on a counter that they stole after opening a rear door, the criminal complaint says.

Evancho said money and items were stolen from approximately 50 to 60 vehicles, adding that Sickler and Browning needed money to support an illegal drug addiction.

Browning is facing charges of burglary, criminal conspiracy, theft and unauthorize use of a vehicle. His wife, Melanie Browning, 26, is facing criminal conspiracy charges.

Police believe the Brownings may be in the Montrose area of Susquehanna County.

A preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled on Sept. 24 before District Judge James Tupper in Kingston Township.

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