The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 18, 2013

Police say man broke into vacant building

Patrick Buchnowski

JOHNSTOWN — A Vinco area man accused of breaking into a vacant structure in Johnstown to steal copper was jailed Wednesday, authorities said.

In a criminal complaint, city police said they received a call reporting someone entering a vacant property in the 600 block of Maple Avenue around 11 p.m. Tuesday.

When they arrived, police said they found 29-year-old Jason David Houston inside.

Officers said Houston told them: “I was just inside here looking around.”

He was wearing work gloves and dirty clothes and was carrying two flashlights, police said. Officers said they found several tools that are commonly used for cutting copper in the building.

Police said Houston told them he was strapped for cash and had lost his job recently when his father’s construction company collapsed.

Houston, of the 3100 block of Benshoff Hill Road, was charged with burglary and criminal trespass.

He was arraigned by on-call District Judge Michael Zungali of Hastings.

Houston was sent to the Cambria County Prison after failing to post 10 percent of $50,000 bond.

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