City teen arrested for theft, carrying stolen handgun

A city teenager is in jail on charges he was stealing from vehicles while carrying a stolen handgun.

Tyler M. Harris, 18, 1804 11th St., was wearing all black with a red bandanna on his head when he was confronted by Altoona police behind a home on the 400 block of Fifth Avenue. A handgun that was stolen in June was sticking out of the waistband of his pants, according to Altoona police.

About 4 a.m. Tuesday, officers responded to the 400 block of Sixth Street for a report of someone breaking into cars. While checking the area, officers spotted Harris between a garage and a parked car behind the home, and along with the stolen gun, allegedly found two flashlights that had been taken out of a parked SUV.

A witness had given a description of the man breaking into the vehicles that matched what Harris was wearing. The witness pointed out to police the vehicles that were entered, and police noted all three were unlocked. One of the vehicles, a GMC SUV, still had its door open.

Along with the two flashlights, Harris allegedly had a stolen wallet in his knapsack and a pair of brass knuckles in his pocket. When questioned after his arrest, Harris told police someone gave him the gun and had told him to throw it away if he ever had to use it, according to the charges.

Harris allegedly admitted to breaking into the vehicles and was charged with felony counts of illegal possession of a gun and receiving stolen property as well as misdemeanor counts of theft, loitering and prowling at night, receiving stolen property and theft from a motor vehicle. Harris was also cited for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

Harris appeared before Magisterial District Judge Daniel DeAntonio on Tuesday morning and was jailed in lieu of $25,000 cash bail.

A preliminary hearing is slated for Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Central Court.