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Middletown man pleads guilty in fatal hit-and-run

A Middletown man pleaded guilty to a hit-and-run accident that led to the death of a woman in Palmyra in October 2015.CollinsChadRweb

Chad Ryan Collins, 30, of the 100 block of Witherspoon Avenue, on July 19 pleaded guilty in Lebanon County Court to accidents involving death or personal injury, tampering with/fabricating physical evidence, faulting to stop and give information or render aid, and failing to notify police of accident/injury or death, according to court records. Collins had been scheduled to go on trial on Aug. 1. Instead, his sentencing is for Sept. 28 before Judge Charles T. Jones Jr.

The victim, Lisa Thomas, 52, was struck while she was walking near her residence in the 400 block of East Cherry Street in Palmyra on Oct. 21, 2015, according to court records filed by Palmyra Borough police. 

Thomas was flown to Penn State Hershey Medical Center, where she died on Oct. 30. 

The car that struck her was a black Audi sedan. Police used social media and video from the scene to find Collins. Several photographs of a black Audi sedan had been posted by Collins on his Facebook page. 

In addition, an acquaintance of Collins contacted police after a video of the black sedan taken by a camera in a police officer's patrol car was released to the media.

Police found Collins' Audi on Nov. 5, 2015, covered by a tarp and parked in the lot of a church in North Londonderry Township. 

A search found that the exterior of the car had been wiped down and the windshield had been removed and placed in a cardboard box in the trunk, according to court records.

Dried blood was found on the windshield, on the windshield frame, in the front driver's side wheel well, on the windshield wiper blades, and on glass fragments from the wiper cowl area of the car.

Collins since Jan. 26, 2016, has been in Lancaster County Prison, where he is being held on unrelated charges.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:20

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Charges: Driver was going 70 on Emaus ... past police station

A man who allegedly led Middletown police on a car chase reaching speeds of over 70 mph on Emaus Street in the early morning hours of Friday, July 29 — including past the police station — is charged with DUI and numerous traffic offenses.

At one point Nicholas Allen Dippery, 21, of the 200 block of East Second Street in Hummelstown, narrowly avoided a head-on collision with a second borough police officer who had been brought in to assist, police said.

Police first saw Dippery at about 2:40 a.m. when an officer in an unmarked cruiser observed a small gray vehicle turning onto Pine Street from East Emaus at a high rate of speed, according to court documents filed with District Judge David Judy.

The car was on the wrong side of the road and “very close” to parked vehicles on the west side of the street, police said. 

Dippery led police right onto Columbia Street off Pine, then across Spruce Street and through a stop sign at Columbia and Race, documents said. 

Police with their lights on and sirens activated kept following Dippery throughout the neighborhood, before he turned back onto Emaus heading east.

Dippery was finally apprehended when he reached a dead-end in the Village of Pineford after running a stop sign and speeding past the borough police station at Race and Emaus streets.

He told police officers he had come from a bar in downtown Harrisburg where he had spent “hours” consuming beer and mixed drinks.

Dippery was arraigned on July 30 before District Judge Joseph S. Lindsey and charged with fleeing and eluding police, recklessly endangering another person, DUI, and multiple traffic summons for running stop signs, reckless driving, failing to keep to the right, speeding, and driving with unsafe equipment.

A preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 22 before District Judge David Judy.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 15:06

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Police: Drowning of girl, 3, ‘not intentional but very careless’

The inquiry into the July 31 drowning death of a 3-year-old girl has become a criminal investigation, according to Lower Swatara Police.

“We believe the child’s death was a result of improper supervision,” Detective Robert Appleby said. “This was not intentional, but it was very careless.”

The girl wandered away from her uncle’s home on the morning of Sunday, July 31, in the 2000 block of West Harrisburg Pike. She found her way to a pool a three-minute walk away. She was found unresponsive in the neighbor’s pool at 120 Wayne Ave when police arrived at 9:23 a.m., according to Appleby.

“At first we had a death of a child, which can be accidental or criminal, and once the investigation covered some ground it became a criminal investigation,” Appleby said.

She was under the care of an uncle when she wandered away, Appleby said. The uncle had watched the girl overnight while the mother worked, and he continued watching her when the mother returned from work. 

She was a “seriously neglected child,” said Police Sgt. Scott Young, the officer-in-charge for the township.

The drowning could have been prevented, Appleby said.

“If the door had been locked it would have been nearly impossible for the child to open,” he said. “It was found open after she disappeared.” 

Additionally, the neighbor’s pool was not surrounded by a fence, he said. 

Appleby declined to name anyone targeted by his investigation. 

“More than one person is being investigated,” he said. “It is a tedious and important investigation; we have to move carefully and correctly with our investigation.”

Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the drowning could result in charges that include endangering the welfare of children and involuntary manslaughter, Appleby said.

Because of the ongoing investigation, the police and Dauphin County Coroner’s Office refused to release the name of the girl. 

“This is all I have been working on since this happened,” Appleby said. “It’s one of the most saddening and disheartening situations I have investigated.” 

Last Updated on Tuesday, 16 August 2016 14:48

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man wanted over deck work he didn't do

A Middletown man is wanted by borough police for allegedly collecting more than $7,200 from a woman for construction work that was never done.

The victim, who according to police is disabled, contacted Robert G. Galbraith, 45, to build a deck with a ramp so it would be easier for the woman to enter and exit her residence in the 400 block of Caravan Court.

From Jan. 20, 2016, to May 26, 2016, the victim wrote six checks to Galbraith totaling $7,285.63, according to a criminal compliant borough police filed with District Justice David Judy on July 7.

But no permit to do the work was ever filed with Middletown borough, police said. The only work Galbraith did was some minor attempts to level the foundation of the mobile home sometime in April. The only construction material delivered to the homeowner was about 100 pressure-treated balusters, police said.

Galbraith is charged with theft by deception and receiving advance payment for services that he failed to perform, according to court records.

A warrant for his arrest has been served by borough police but Galbraith has failed to turn himself in, Sgt. Richard Hiester told the Press And Journal on Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Galbraith is also wanted on outstanding warrants that have been served by other jurisdictions besides Middletown, Hiester said.

Galbraith’s last known address was in the first block of Crestview Village in Middletown, according to the criminal complaint.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 13:09

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Lower Swatara Twp. Police News 8/10/16

Following is a compilation of reports from the Lower Swatara Twp. Police Department. Please be aware all those charged or cited are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise in a court of law.

Tax return is gone

A township resident reported her 2015 federal tax return was fraudulently deposited in a bank account that wasn’t hers.

Police were notified of the act of fraud on July 27 and believed the act took place some time between Feb. 1 and 29.

Investigators noted the victim had contacted the IRS about the status of her $9,080 refund only to be informed it had been deposited into an account with Metro Bank in February. The victim told police the account was not hers and that Metro Bank informed her the account had been closed following the deposit of the refund.

DUI charge

Timothy A. Tatem Jr., 27, of the 100 block of Second Street, Highspire, has been charged with DUI, possession of a small amount of marijuana, driving with a suspended license, restriction on alcoholic beverages and disregard lane of traffic, police report.

Tatem was stopped by police while driving on South Eisenhower Boulevard, near the entrance to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, at 1:55 a.m. June 18. The arresting officer said the accused was driving a 2004 Kia Spectra and the vehicle was swerving on the road.

The arrest report noted police smelled an odor of alcohol and marijuana in the accused’s vehicle. A substance later tested and shown to be marijuana was found in the vehicle, police said.

A preliminary hearing on the charges has been set for Sept. 1 before District Judge Michael Smith.

Weed wacker, lawn mower stolen

Lawn maintenance equipment were reported stolen in two areas of the township.

A resident of a home in the 500 block of Lumber Street told police his Yard Machines lawn mower was stolen July 27 or July 28.

Police said the red push mower was in the front porch of the home. The mower was valued at $180. The victim told police the theft was the second such incident involving the theft of lawn equipment in last two months from his residence. He told police a weed wacker had been stolen in mid-spring. No estimate of loss was noted in that theft.

A second report of theft occurred at a home in the first block of Heatherwood Circle on July 31, police report.

Police report a weed wacker was stolen from the front lawn of the home. The victim told police the Black and Decker cordless lithium string weed wacker was valued at $149. Police were told that a white male, 60s, 70s in age, wearing a white hat and driving a yellow Ford Ranger pickup truck with a utility trailer attached to it was seen in the area.

Police are asking anyone with information about the incidents to contact them, at 717-939-0463.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 August 2016 12:23

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