Burglary Victim Speaks with Newswatch 16

A break-in in Jessup sounds eerily familiar to another that turned deadly in Nanticoke Thanksgiving night.

In both cases, an elderly woman was the target, and the intruder broke in through a basement window. Only this time, the 86-year-old woman wasn’t hurt.

When police in Jessup heard about the break-in Monday night they were reminded of what happened to Gertrude Price, 97, of Nanticoke who was killed during an apparent burglary last month. In this case, fortunately, the woman was not hurt, and all the alleged burglar got away with were some crochet squares.

The 86-year-old woman who we are not identifying sat with Newswatch 16 in her kitchen in Jessup like it never happened. She was calm and collected like she hadn’t had the harrowing experience a few nights before. She was headed to bed Monday night when she heard someone in her basement.

“When I came down he had the light on in the cellar, he knocked my broom, it was hanging, and that’s what I heard. So, I went to the top of the stairs and I yelled ‘who’s there?’ and he said ‘God forgive me!'” she said.

With that plea for forgiveness, the burglar was gone. He never got to the second floor because the door leading into the kitchen was locked. When the woman opened the door, she found the burglar had taken some of her crochet work and left behind a pair of scissors.

“The scissors were left on the steps that I had hanging on the doorway. If he got in and got me he probably would have stabbed me,” she added.

This woman’s story has a happier ending, but eerily similar circumstances to that of Gertrude Price, a 97-year-old woman from Nanticoke who was beaten to death after an apparent burglar broke in through her basement in November.

“I saw the similarities with the case in Nanticoke also, and I wanted to make as many people aware of it as soon as possible,” said Jessup Police Chief Joe Walsh.

Chief Walsh said they posted the woman’s story to Facebook and it went viral. He said that’s what led Matthew Lange of Peckville to turn himself in. Police charged Lange with burglary and trespassing.

Police said they don’t think Lange knew the woman at all, and they don’t know his intentions.

But, whatever they may have been, the woman had the right protection in place to make sure they were never played out.

Matthew Lange turned himself in at the Jessup Police Department. The Chief said he was interviewed by Jessup officers and by Troopers from Luzerne County, but he wouldn’t say why.

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