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January 25, 2014

Tenants remain wary of crime

JOHNSTOWN — A jittery husband and wife living at a Lower Yoder Township apartment complex say they are increasingly on edge.

They said burglaries at Norwood Gardens/Edwards Hill continue even after police arrested a suspected thief.

The couple, who requested to not be identified, believe that someone used a key to enter their apartment once in December and once this month and stole jewelry.

“Someone still has a way of getting into our apartment,” the woman said.

Dwight Joseph Bumford, 24, has been in Cambria County Prison since police arrested him in connection with a two-week crime spree in November.

Bumford allegedly used stolen keys to enter at least five apartments when no one was home.

Police said Bumford used keys stolen from the building’s storage unit to enter apartments and make off with several thousand dollars in money and jewelry.

Some of the stolen duplicate keys have been recovered. It’s unclear how many keys remain missing.

“We don’t know if we have all the keys,” West Hills police Chief Andy Havas said.

Havas said no other burglaries have been reported since Bumford’s arrest.

Online records name Alan Podrasky as manager of Norwood Gardens and Edwards Hill apartments.

When approached by a Tribune-Democrat reporter at his Goucher Street office Thursday, Podarsky said locks on apartment doors are being changed, but he refused to answer questions. He would not say who owned the complex.

Cambria County tax records list Hemlock Investments II as owner of Norwood Gardens. Pennsylvania Department of State records show Hemlock Investments II has seven partners.

Telephone calls placed to three partners – John R. Boderocco and Thomas F. Deter, both of Johnstown, and Robert F. Stano of Ligonier – were not returned.

Meanwhile, Bumford is awaiting trial.

His preliminary hearing was held Jan. 15. Witnesses testified how he terrorized elderly tenants by slipping into their locked apartments, shuffling through items and taking mostly jewelry that could be sold for cash.

In one case, Bumford allegedly stole more than $1,500 in quarters and other coins.  

A former girlfriend of Bumford, Rachel Galbreath, testified that they took coins to a money-counting machine at a local department store and then bought heroin with the money.

Bumford at the time lived with his father, Lee Roy Bumford Jr., 55, at a Norwood apartment.

West Hills police charged the elder Bumford with hindering apprehension after his son was found hiding inside the apartment. He is being held in the Cambria County Prison.

Police remain uncertain if any others were involved in the burglaries.

“We have not received any new information linking anyone else to the crimes,” West Hills police Sgt. George Musulin III said.

Patrick Buchnowski is a reporter with The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on


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