A Curwensville man accused of stealing a Jeep and retail theft waived his right to a preliminary hearing before Magisterial District Judge Michael Morris Wednesday at the Clearfield County Courthouse.
Paul Harold Hoyt, 31, is charged with theft by unlawful taking-moveable property and receiving stolen property — both of which are felonies of the third degree, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — a misdemeanor of the second degree, and retail theft — a felony of the third degree.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Dec. 23, Assistant Chief Nathan Curry of the Clearfield Borough Police Department was investigating two retail thefts at Clearfield Pharmacy and Bob’s Army & Navy when police were able to identify an unknown suspect entering a black Jeep Wrangler.
Curry ran the license plate and contacted the owner of the Jeep and she said she didn’t know anyone fitting the description and didn’t know her vehicle was gone.
The victim contacted her son who also said he didn’t know anybody fitting the description. He also didn’t know the Jeep was missing but when he checked, he confirmed the Jeep was gone from their residence on Merrill Street in Clearfield
Sergeant Julie Curry of the Lawrence Township Police Department located the vehicle in a parking lot along Bigler Avenue and through the windows, she was able to see the stolen merchandise inside the Jeep.
Police converged on the area and located Hoyt.
Hoyt matched the description of the suspect in the retail thefts but he denied involvement.
Hoyt had a set of keys for a Jeep in his pocket but he said the keys were to his vehicle. However, police were able to use the keys to unlock the stolen vehicle.
Hoyt was taken to the Clearfield Borough police station and was interviewed. Hoyt said he recently broke up with his girlfriend and admitted to going to the stores and removing items but said he knew the owner of the Jeep and had permission to use it. He also noted that the mailbox of the victims was overflowing.
Police interviewed the victims again and they reiterated they didn’t know Hoyt — but saw him in the area when they were digging out from the snow storm.
Hoyt is incarcerated in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $5,000 monetary bail. He was represented by attorney Steven Johnston of the public defender’s office; the commonwealth was represented by First Assistant District Attorney Leanne Nedza.