Reason to Work Together
By Brian Whipkey
November 18th, 2007
We recently had two examples of good policing and how the public can help authorities.
When a man with mental health problems got lost in the Laurel Ridge State Park, numerous police, fire departments and the county search and rescue teams joined in a search. Many of them are volunteers and spent many long hours in the search. He was found uninjured.
Someone attempted to rob a Sheetz in Somerset and robbed the nearby McDonald’s. Borough police got tips from the state police and local citizens that lead to the arrest of a suspect.
It takes community members willing to get involved to stop crimes. It takes good police work and volunteers to find those who are lost. We commend everyone who was willing to help in both these incidents.
Police arrest robbery suspect
By TIFFANY WRIGHT
Daily American Staff Writer
Saturday, November 10, 2007 1:09 AM EST
Somerset Borough police arrested a woman they say robbed a Somerset McDonald’s and attempted to rob a Sheetz early Thursday morning.
Tessa Dee Day, 24, Somerset, was arrested Friday and video arraigned at about 9 p.m. before District Judge Susan Mankamyer. She is being held in the Somerset County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail, according to a police report.
Day is charged with robbery, theft and receiving stolen property.
Early Thursday morning, Day attempted to rob Sheetz along East Main Street, but was unsuccessful because employees didn’t take her seriously and asked her to leave, police said. Less than two hours later, Day flashed a gun at McDonald’s drive-thru near the turnpike interchange and made off with approximately $400. She fled to Ruby Tuesday’s parking lot, where she got into a dark-colored pickup truck and fled, according to police. Someone else was driving the truck.
Somerset Borough police Chief Randy Cox said the department received numerous calls about the incidents.
Ultimately, state police Cpl. Jeffrey Doman and resident Michael Maul contributed information that led borough police to Day.
“Basically it was a correlation of information that we had,” Cox said during a telephone interview Friday. “Descriptions of the vehicle and the suspect correlated with information that came in from named and unnamed sources.”
According to the affidavit of probable cause, Doman told police Day fit the description of the woman involved with the robberies and had access to a vehicle that was described fleeing the scene. He had the information through one of his own, unrelated investigations.
Maul also provided borough police with information regarding the robberies.
He told police that he had read media accounts of the robberies and began to suspect that his brother’s girlfriend, Day, was the woman mentioned, according to the affidavit.
Maul said Day has been dating his brother, and the two of them have been living with him for the past several weeks. He said he saw the couple leave Wednesday evening in a flat black Dodge Dakota pickup truck owned by Day’s mother. Maul’s brother returned the next morning alone and on foot at about 7 a.m., which he found to be odd, police said.
Maul said he later noticed the truck parked at his apartment with Day inside the apartment sleeping.
Maul gave borough police Officer Ruth Beckner and Cox consent to search his home.
“When Mr. Maul contacted us and we received consent to search his apartment, we found some of the articles of clothing she was wearing,” Cox said.
He said Day was at the apartment when police arrived at 3:40 p.m. Friday. Officers placed Day under arrest.
Cox arrived on scene after Day was placed under arrest and asked to see the bottom of her shoes, according to the affidavit. He recognized the pattern on the sole of the shoes to be similar to the shoe prints left at the scene of the robbery, police said.
The truck was seized and impounded by Herring Motors. Police received a search warrant for the vehicle.
“Now we’re ready to go and do a search on the vehicle and on Day’s residence on record,” Cox said late Friday night.
Police said more charges may be filed after they search Day’s apartment and the vehicle. Police are still investigating Day’s male accomplice.
(Tiffany Wright may be contacted at email@example.com.)
Visit the Daily American "Somerset County's Newspaper" at www.dailyamerican.com