State police on Saturday investigated multiple reports of vehicles being searched by at least one would-be thief on several streets in the Brookwood Estates neighborhood, troopers at Indiana confirmed Sunday.

Brookwood residents told of the intrusions in social media posts over the weekend, some accompanied by security camera photos.

A video posted by a Brookwood homeowner showed a man who walked up the driveway, opened an unlocked door of a sport-utility vehicle and quickly returned to a car on the street.

The man’s face was partially covered by a black mask; he had briefly entered the vehicle but appeared to have taken nothing.

The man wore a black knit cap, a black jacket and blue jeans. He trotted back down the driveway and climbed into a gray sedan waiting on the street. The video shows a second man dressed in dark clothing who ran by the driveway, left the view of the camera, then returned and also got into the car.

Troopers did not indicate how many vehicles had been entered or identify the owners. Checks and money were among the items believed to have been stolen. Investigators said the intrusions took place between 5 and 6 a.m.

“These incidents as well as the series of thefts/burglaries that occurred in Cherryhill, Rayne, and White Township earlier last week remain under investigation,” said Trooper Cliff Greenfield, community relations officer at the Indiana station.

“As always, we continue to urge residents to always lock their vehicles and keep valuables out-of-sight. We also encourage residents to immediately report suspicious activity in their neighborhood.”


Stephen Westbrook repeatedly hit Sarah Erdley’s face, kicked her back and threatened to kill Erdley and her child during an altercation early May 1 at 502 Millay Circle, according to state police.

Erdley was left with bruises and a contusion on her face and a shoe imprint on her back, investigators wrote in a criminal complaint.

While police interviewed Erdley, Westbrook drove away in her van and sped toward a state trooper standing in the van’s path, forcing him to jump to safety.

Troopers at Indiana charged Westbrook, 44, of Philadelphia, with simple assault, flight to avoid prosecution, making terroristic threats, and unauthorized use of a vehicle, all misdemeanors; and two counts of harassment and one count of driving without a license, all summary offenses.

Westbrook was lodged later that day at Indiana County Jail with bond set at $30,000. A preliminary hearing has been set for June 23 in Indiana District Court.



A Florida man was charged last month in connection with an altercation late last year at a fraternity house near the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus.

Indiana Borough police charged that Timothy Donatucci, 22, of Panama City Beach, repeatedly hit Bo Putt on the night of Dec. 5 in the Sigma Chi house, 246 S. Seventh St.

Police were called in to investigate when Putt reported to Indiana Regional Medical Center for treatment of injuries to his head and knee, according to a criminal complaint.

Putt told police that he was jumped from behind when he began speaking to a woman he knew during a party in the frat house. Putt said he was forced out the back door and was pummeled further by people that he couldn’t see because his glasses had been knocked off.

Investigators questioned the leaders of the fraternity and reported in the complaint that the vice president, Devon Gonzalez, told police that Donatucci had thrown Putt to the ground and punched him until Gonzalez and others pulled Donatucci away.

Police charged Donatucci with simple assault and harassment in a complaint filed April 26 in Indiana District Court. Donatucci was served with a summons by mail and was ordered to appear May 27 for a preliminary hearing.


Fugitive arrested

A man who had skipped hearings on two criminal cases in Indiana County Common Pleas Court was captured and jailed last month following a chase and traffic crash in Clearfield and Cambria counties, state police at Punxsutawney reported.

Troy Bingaman, 39, of Hastings, Cambria County, fled at 11:51 p.m. April 17 when troopers tried to halt his pickup truck on Buterbaugh Road in Burnside Township, Clearfield County, and crashed the truck minutes later on Pine Street in Elder Township, according to a report.

Police took him into custody following a short chase on foot.

Court records show that Judge Michael Clark issued warrants for Bingaman when he failed to appear June 30 to face two unrelated felony drug distribution charges and seven related counts.

The online records show Bingaman was held at Indiana County Jail on April 19 with bond set at $100,000 in each case.

State police said charges would be filed later in connection with the truck chase.

In a news release, police listed a Hastings woman, 50, asa victim but gave no explanation.



A Saltsburg-area woman told state police that she was harassed at 2:10 p.m. Thursday on Forest Drive. Troopers didn’t provide the name of a suspect but said the investigation would continue.


Fleeing police

A Patton man led police on a chase on his all-terrain vehicle at 7:07 p.m. May 7 and was written up for 23 traffic violations and two misdemeanor offenses.

Troopers from Ebensburg found Cody Storm riding an ATV on Flags Street, and reported that Storm hit the police cruiser with his ATV before he drove away.

Police took Storm, 21, into custody and charged him with fleeing and eluding police and hit-and-run, both misdemeanors, and a list of traffic infractions beginning with riding an ATV on a public or highway, online court records show.