Southwest Region LES Scott Tomlinson reports that while on patrol this past spring gobbler season, Allegheny County WCO Daniel Puhala and Westmoreland County WCO Michael Papinchak apprehended an individual in Plum Borough believed to have committed several burglaries in the area. “When initially approaching the suspect, both officers thought they were dealing with someone illegally hunting from a motorized vehicle. Upon contact, officers observed drug paraphernalia, numerous tools, and flat screen televisions in the car,” he said. “A subsequent search of the vehicle found a stolen handgun and numerous items from several burglaries, one of which had occurred only hours before. Jeffrey Armstrong, Chief of Police for Plum Borough, in a thank you letter, credited the officers for clearing three burglaries and the return of thousands of dollars in stolen items to their owners.”
Allegheny County WCO Dan Puhala reports that a local individual recently pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the purchase of a hunting license without first receiving Hunter-Trapper Education certification. The individual who was cited was using the range at State Game Lands 203 in Wexford and was found to have purchased a hunting license without the required course. Hunters and range users are reminded that state law requires completion of the course, or having held a hunting license in another state or nation prior to purchasing a Pennsylvania hunting license. The basic HTE course is free, and many local classes are scheduled throughout the summer and fall. The fine in this case ranges from $100 to $200, plus court costs.
Fayette County WCO Douglas Bergman reports that an investigation is ongoing regarding a Hunting Related Shooting Incident (HRSI) that occurred in December 2013 on property operated as a regulated shooting grounds. “This incident was not reported initially as required by law. Anyone involved in an HRSI must report to the PGC within 72 hours regardless of where the incident occurs in the state, whether on public or private land,” he said.
Somerset County WCO Nathaniel Kimmel reports that three individuals were found drinking alcoholic beverages at a local swimming hole along a creek in Somerset County. “After the individuals consumed their beverages, they left the empty containers along the creek, and later told me that they assumed somebody else would pick up the garbage. All three individuals were cited for littering,” he said.
Somerset County WCO Nathaniel Kimmel reports that increased ATV patrol has been a routine part of our duties in Somerset County. “Multiple Hunter Access cooperative properties have been frequented by illegal off-road activity, often by ATVs and other all-terrain vehicles. One individual was recently found on co-op property riding his ATV in a closed area. When I asked the individual who maintained the trails, he stated that there was a whole group of friends that ride there frequently. The individual was cited for the illegal operation of a motorized vehicle on lands closed to such travel,” he said.
Somerset County WCO Shawn Barron reports that, after receiving information from a witness, an individual was cited for taking a white-tailed fawn out of the wild and possessing it at his residence in Somerset County.