SALTSBURG — State police at Indiana are searching for a suspect in a series of crimes that occurred Friday afternoon in southwestern Indiana County.
Spokesman Trooper Cliff Greenfield said the suspect crashed a stolen vehicle during the spree and may have suffered minor injuries. Greenfield said the man also stole a rifle in the course of that spree.
Police described the suspect as an unknown white male believed to be in his 20s and of who is reported to be of average height with a medium build and a shaved or bald head.
The spree covered portions of Conemaugh, Young and West Wheatfield townships.
Troopers believe the suspect stole a parked and unattended black 2016 Nissan Frontier after entering a residence along Main Street in Conemaugh Township and taking the keys. The theft was discovered by residents of that address when they returned home shortly before 4 p.m.
Before that, however, troopers were called at 3:16 p.m. to a residence along Short Lane in Young Township. A woman there said she came home to find a black Nissan parked in her driveway.
The woman said she saw a white male walking out of her home with her .22 caliber rifle. Greenfield said the woman confronted the man and struggled unsuccessfully to get the firearm back before he fled in the Nissan.
Greenfield said the man was described by the woman as being in his 20s with a black hood pulled tight around his face.
Then, at 3:29 p.m., troopers were dispatched to a residence along Iselin Road, Young Township, for a report of an attempted burglary. A woman there said a man with a black hooded sweatshirt got out of a new black Nissan truck and approached the rear door of her home.
Greenfield said the suspect broke the door window and stuck the gun barrel inside the open window — only to confront a male family member inside the home, armed with a pistol, who told the unknown intruder that if he entered he would be shot.
The state police spokes-man said the suspect then fled in the Nissan northward towards Armstrong County.
However, at 5:14 p.m. troopers were dispatched to a crash in the area of Gamble and Germany Lutheran Cemetery roads in West Wheatfield Township.
Greenfield said the vehicle involved in that crash was the stolen Nissan, and that the suspect fled the area undetected, leaving behind a black hooded sweatshirt/jacket.
The state police spokesman said the rifle stolen in Young Township was not recovered.
Greenfield said Trooper Anthony A. Derry of the Indiana Criminal Investigation Unit is pursuing the investigation, with help from the Troop A Forensic Services Unit and state police from Troop D.
Greenfield said residents are encouraged to secure their vehicles and residences and to contact 911 to report suspicious activity.
He also asked anyone with information that would aid in identifying the suspect to contact the Troop A, Indiana Station at (724) 357-1960.