HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s office today announced criminal charges have been filed against three Pennsylvania men for their alleged involvement in a series of burglaries in the western part of the state.
The charges against Christopher Morin, 48, Joseph Keller, 22, and Jonathan Hensel, 32, were recommended by a statewide investigating grand jury. The charges were filed after a joint investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police and the Ohio Township Police Department. The Office of Attorney General is prosecuting the three suspects.
The grand jury heard testimony that implicated the three men in a series of burglaries that took place in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Butler and Washington counties. The burglaries were reported between October 2014 and December 2014. Fourteen burglaries allegedly linked to Morin resulted in more than $15,000 being stolen and roughly $16,000 in property damage.
The investigation revealed that Morin, with the assistance of Hensel and Keller, targeted safes in various commercial businesses. The group targeted multiple businesses in close proximity and entry was made during the overnight hours, a grand jury presentment states.
Investigators reported they obtained a surveillance photograph captured during one of the burglaries in Ohio Township, Allegheny County. The photograph showed a rental vehicle and a partial license plate. The plate was later linked in a police database to an active arrest warrant for Morin, the grand jury presentment alleges.
Investigators said they later found the rental vehicle at a motel in Marshall Township, Allegheny County. At that point, Morin was taken into custody. After obtaining permission from the rental company, the rental vehicle was searched. That led investigators to find several items, including unique shoes and gloves, that were allegedly worn by the burglary suspects and captured by surveillance videos and photographs.
Other testimony before the grand jury implicated Keller and Hensel in the alleged burglary ring.
Morin, of 124 N. Pittsburgh St., Apt. 1 Rear, Zelienople, Butler County, is charged with 14 counts each of burglary and criminal mischief in addition to two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of criminal conspiracy. He is awaiting arraignment on the charges. Morin had been held in the Allegheny County Jail on a prior arrest warrant.
Hensel, of 3104 Schieck St., Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, and Keller, of 2831 Willett Road, Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, are both charged with three counts each of burglary and criminal mischief in addition to two counts of corrupt organizations and one count of criminal conspiracy. Keller’s bail was set at $5,000 unsecured following a preliminary arraignment. An arrest warrant has been issued for Hensel, who remains a fugitive.
Attorney General Kane thanked the Pennsylvania State Police and the Ohio Township Police Department for their work on the investigation.
The case will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Mark A. Serge of the Office of Attorney General’s Organized Crime Section and Deputy Attorney General Katherine Wymard of the office’s Drug Strike Force Section.