Escaped Prisoners Accused of Going on Crime Spree
Investigators searched the woods at Loyalsock State Forest, looking for 38-year-old Jarrett Houser. Police say he and another man, Christony Pettit escaped from the Lycoming County Pre-Release center near Montoursville last week, and have been on the run for eleven days.
Authorities believe the two stole atv’s, and drove more than 20 miles to Loyalsock State Forest. Pettit was caught Sunday evening after a run-in with forest rangers.
“We knew that they were in the area and just happened to be in the right place at the right time yesterday and ran into them,” Brian Valencik said.
Police say in addition to stealing atv’s, Houser and Pettit are responsible for dozens of break-ins. Investigators believe the duo stopped here, at Donnie’s Downtown Country Mall…twice.
“I had a girl open for me Tuesday morning and she realized they had gotten in and stole all the cigarettes,” Bernadine Roles said.
Store owners Bernadine Roles and Joe Lewis say the two escapees crawled over this air conditioner through the window. Two days later, it happened again.
“This time there was meat missing, a big hunk of turkey, dutch loaf, beef sticks, chips were missing, Gatorade,” Roles said.
The owners say more than $1,000 in merchandise was stolen.
“We’re doing everything we can to keep it going and stuff like this definitely affects us in a very large way,” Joe Lewis said.
Officials say several cabins were also broken into. They are not sure exactly how many but believe it was several dozen.
“Many cabins. That’s how they were more or less surviving. Breaking into cabins and stealing provisions,” Valencik said.
Jarrett Houser is believed to still be in the Loyalsock State Forest. If you see him you are asked to call 911.