Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Church Burglary Suspect Identified and Taken into Custody

The suspect in the burglary of a church in Pottsville was identified and taken into custody.

According to Pottsville Police Chief Richard Wojciechowsky, on January 3, 2020 Pottsville Police began investigating a reported burglary that had occurred at the Four Square Gospel Church building, 2300 Mahantongo Street.

During the course of the investigation video footage showed the unknown actor entering into the building around 11:30pm on January 2, 2020. Evidence also indicated that the actor was operating a pickup truck at the time of the incident.

Stolen during the incident were the following items:
One IBANEZ guitar
One FENDER bass amp
One COUNTRYMAN E6 ukulele
Various mics, speakers, and cables
One HP 15” laptop computer

A still shot from surveillance was released and posted to social media to find the suspect's identity.

Utilizing great assistance from concerned citizens Pottsville Police were able to quickly identify the suspect in the burglary suspect photo released yesterday as Bernard George Bowman III, 47, of Pottsville. Bowman was located and interviewed by Capt. Kirk Becker at which time he admitted to having been the person who broke into the property at 2300 Mahantongo Street on 01/03/20 and
stole various musical and related items.

A search by police of a private garage located at 1430A W. Norwegian Street, Pottsville led to the recovery of most of the stolen items and efforts are continuing to recover those still missing.

A criminal complaint was prepared by Det. Joseph Krammes charging Bowman with Felony Burglary, Trespass, Theft, and Receiving Stolen Property. Additionally, Bowman was charged with Theft by Deception for selling one of the stolen items to a local business. Bowman was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Reiley who set bail at $50,000 and he was then committed to the Schuylkill County Prison.

“This was a perfect example of how quickly positive results can be achieved when citizens and law enforcement work cooperatively to address problems in our communities. We are extremely appreciative to all the people who immediately reached out to us in an effort to help identify Bowman.” said Chief Wojciechowsky

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