Police arrest suspect for vehicle break-ins

An alleged heroin addict who police say came to Altoona for rehabilitation is suspected of breaking into dozens of vehicles.

Richard J. Boggs, 27, of New Castle was arrested early Thursday after running from Altoona police after an officer noticed motion lights at homes come on along the 1900 block of Logan and Hudson avenues about 1 a.m.

Police said one motion light was tripped on Logan Avenue, and 15 minutes later another light at a home on Hudson turned on, giving an officer a glimpse of a person in the shadows. When police turned onto Logan Avenue, Boggs reportedly was walking along the street and ran when confronted.

Police said they caught Boggs hiding behind a shed in a backyard on the 1800 block of Grant Avenue. Two large Pratt-Read flathead screwdrivers were in his possession, police said.

Boggs is accused of being behind a rash of vehicle break-ins that began in late December and early January and will be charged next week, according to city police Detective Cpl. Troy Wright. Boggs allegedly used the screwdrivers to break out windows to vehicles, Wright said.

Boggs was arraigned Thursday on prowling, possession of instruments of crime and escape charges and will be charged in at least 25 vehicle break-ins and three burglaries, according to Wright.

The break-ins spanned all areas of the city and stopped for two weeks after Boggs was arrested on an outstanding warrant and sent back to Lawrence County on Feb. 15, police noted.

When he returned to the area, the break-ins allegedly began again.

Police said the only stolen item recovered by police from the break-ins was a knife.

Items stolen from the vehicles were sold to buy drugs, police said.

“He said he spent all his money on heroin,” Wright said.

Boggs, who is from New Castle in Lawrence County, 50 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, was staying locally with a friend and gave an address on the 1600 block of Second Avenue, police said.

Police said Boggs came to Altoona for drug treatment and had lived

in a Sixth Avenue

halfway house.

Boggs remains in Blair County Prison in lieu of $10,000 cash bail with a preliminary hearing slated for Wednesday at Central Court, where he’ll likely be arraigned on the vehicle break-in and burglary charges, police said.

Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-458.