NORWEGAIN TOWNSHIP -- Neighbors in a community near Pottsville are expressing shock and concern after an elderly homeowner became a victim of a crime all while trying to be a Good Samaritan.
“It used to be you don't to lock your doors, don't lock the car doors, but now, oh my gosh you have to be afraid,” said Darlene Derricott.
State police say on November 9, Nicholas Harman came to the home of 85-year-old Walter Whalen in Norwegain Township, saying he wrecked his car and hurt his head, and he asked to use Whalen's phone.
Once in the kitchen, police say Harman stole Whalen's wallet, some money sitting on a shelf, and the keys to Whalen's SUV. He then took off in it.
Neighbor Francis Vinitski says the Whalens are always willing to help someone in need.
“I know them really well. They're really nice people, and they're just those types of people, people who would try to help someone. Unfortunately, you run into those instances where you have individuals like that who just really take advantage of those people,” said Vinitski.
“He felt bad. The guy told him he wrecked his truck and hurt his head. You know he was trying to help him. You can't trust anybody these days,” said Patty Goodman, who says Whalen is her husband’s uncle.
She ran over to their house when she saw the police at their house.
“I went up. I was getting ready for work, so I saw the police there,” said Goodman. “So I went up to see if they were OK because they're both elderly. I wanted to make sure that they weren't hurt.”
Goodman says Whalen's wife was in the bedroom while Harman was in the house.
Neighbors just say they're happy the couple wasn't harmed.
“Definitely yes, I can't imagine him opening the door, you know, living out here and everything,” said Derricott. “God knows what could have happened.”
Nicholas Harman has an address in Ashland. He was arraigned on charges stemming from the vehicle theft as well as the hold up at the convenience mart and is locked up at the Schuylkill County Prison