NEW CASTLE (KDKA) — Police in Lawrence County have one man in custody, but are still searching for a second suspect who jumped into the Shenango River after an overnight burglary at a jewelry store.
The incident happened around 3 a.m. at Greek’s House of Gold on East Washington Street in New Castle.
Police say 19-year-old Christopher Jackson smashed out the front door with a hammer and went inside.
According to the store owner, he and another suspect attempted to steal a Rolex watch from a window display.
The owner said he heard a crash and then the burglar alarm went off. He went to confront the suspects, but they got away.
Police chased the two men, catching up to them on the banks of the Shenango River. They took one into custody; however, the other jumped into the water.
“Jumped the fence, about a 25 to 30-foot drop into the Neshannock River,” said New Castle Police Chief Robert Salem. “Our officers lost him at that point.”
The believe he made it across the creek and through some nearby woods where they found fresh tracks leading down the banks of the Shenango River.
“There’s a lot of currents in there and depth changes throughout the river,” said Salem. “But they were in right where the footprints were and I believe it was 18 feet.”
Water rescue crews were brought in and searched the shallow part of the river, but came up with nothing.
The search was called off at that point, and resumed at daylight.
“We contacted his family in West Mifflin,” Salem said. “He’s on probation in Allegheny County. We contacted his probation officer, he was supposed to have a meeting today. We spoke to his local friends here, no one has had any contact with him. They are all looking right now.”
Salem says they don’t know if Jackson is in the river, but he said others who’ve been lost in the Shenango’s dark waters have shown up days later and miles downstream.
Police say if they find him, he faces charges of burglary and forced entry.
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