Thursday, October 10, 2019

Alleged car thief captured after tripping over yard decoration - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Alleged car thief captured after tripping over yard decoration - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Alleged car thief captured after tripping over yard decoration - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Posted: 10 Oct 2019 10:05 AM PDT


KINGSTON — Police arrested a man early Thursday morning they say stole a vehicle at knife point earlier this week.

Kyle Robert Gontz, 20, of South River Street, Wilkes-Barre, initiated a pursuit with police that ended with his capture when he fled the stolen vehicle and tripped over a decorative ceramic duck in a yard on Reynolds Street just after 12:30 a.m.

Police allege Gontz stole a Chevrolet Cobalt at knife point outside a business building on Wilkes-Barre Boulevard in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaints:

A man entered a business at 100 Wilkes-Barre Blvd., and overheard a man who identified himself as Kyle Gontz talking to another person at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. When the man exited the building, he got into his Chevrolet Cobalt and was approached by Gontz saying, "Get the (expletive) out or move over." Gontz also claimed he had a firearm.

The man moved to the passenger seat as Gontz sat in the driver's seat.

When Gontz drove to the area of Spring and Kidder streets, the Chevrolet owner jumped out and called 911.

City police radioed a description of the stolen Chevrolet to area police departments.

A Kingston police officer spotted the Chevrolet at the gasoline island at Turkey Hill on Pierce Street just after 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

The officer attempted a traffic stop when Gontz drove away, the complaints say.

Gontz sped past the officer and turned onto Rutter Avenue and Reynolds Street where he was boxed in by another officer.

Gontz fled the vehicle on foot and tripped over a ceramic duck in a yard when he was arrested.

Police said they found two bandanas and pink and gray gloves on Gontz. Inside one of the gloves was a black sock containing 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition, the complaints say.

Police searched the Chevrolet allegedly finding a 9mm semi-automatic handgun and suspected methamphetamine.

Gontz told police he may have broken his hand several days ago and aggravated the injury when he tripped over the ceramic duck. He acknowledged the handgun inside the vehicle telling police, "Yeah, the gun is stolen but I didn't steal it. I stole it from the person who stole it," the complaint says.

Gontz was transported to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.

He was arraigned in Luzerne County Central Court on charges of robbery, theft, illegal possession of a firearm, flight to avoid apprehension, resisting arrest, fleeing or attempting to elude police, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of receiving stolen property. He was jailed at the county correctional facility with no bail due as he was deemed a danger to society and a flight risk, court records say.

$2 million bail set for alleged Public Square robber - Wilkes Barre Times-Leader

Posted: 10 Oct 2019 12:16 PM PDT

Hernandez Hernandez -

WILKES-BARRE — A Long Island, N.Y., man now has the opportunity to be released from the Luzerne County Correctional Facility, but at a cost.

Francisco Hernandez, 29, of Roosevelt, has been jailed without bail since his Sept. 16 arrest after he allegedly robbed and assaulted a woman while she was securing a child inside a vehicle on Madison Street and robbing a man at gunpoint on Public Square.

Hernandez appeared Thursday in Luzerne County Central Court where District Judge James Haggerty set his bail at $2 million.

City police allege Hernandez approached a man from behind and placed a gun into his back while demanding cash at East Market Street and Public Square. When the man said he had no money, Hernandez allegedly said he "would put a cap in him."

Hernandez fled that initiated a massive police canvass in the downtown area. He was apprehended in a parking lot near South Wilkes-Barre Boulevard and Northampton Street.

After a preliminary hearing, Haggerty forwarded charges of robbery and terroristic threats against Hernandez to county court.

A preliminary hearing for the alleged robbery and assault of the woman on Madison Street was continued until Oct. 17.

In that case, Hernandez grabbed a woman while she was placing a girl in a child safety seat inside a vehicle. Hernandez allegedly grabbed the woman who fell to the ground and struck her in the head with a handgun.

Police allege Hernandez stole the woman's purse but dropped his wallet containing his identification as he fled Madison Street.

Hernandez is facing four counts of access device fraud, two counts each of robbery, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment, and one count each of aggravated assault, simple assault and theft.

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