Suspect will stand trial for Popeyes burglary
A city man charged in the burglary of Popeyes will face trial.
Magisterial District Judge Ben Jones found that police have enough evidence to send the case against 28-year-old Joshua Gregg of Altoona on to trial after a preliminary hearing Wednesday at Central Court.
Gregg’s defense attorney Ed Zang argued that the only evidence presented at Wednesday’s hearing that his client was inside the restaurant came from a statement given by Gregg’s alleged co-conspirator, 29-year-old Khiry Cannady.
“The Commonwealth has no evidence putting my client inside Popeyes except Mr. Cannady’s self-serving statement,” Zang said, adding that the best police could possibly charge would be receiving stolen property because Gregg was in Cannady’s Jeep when police found a cash register drawer from the burglary.
Assistant District Attorney Derek Elensky argues that Gregg was with Cannady’s blue Jeep when Logan Township police stopped it and found a gun, cash register drawer, hammer and blue latex gloves inside the vehicle not far from the Popeyes on the night of the burglary.
During the hearing, Altoona police Patrolman Jon Burns testified the same blue Jeep was captured on Popeyes’ surveillance camera video pulling up to the restaurant at the time of the burglary. Two males are caught on video, with one wearing all black with a ski mask covering his face while the other was identified as Cannady, Burns told the court.
Burns said that the masked burglar was wearing blue latex gloves and that one of the men pried at the drive-thru window with the hammer while the other walked in a door that had been left unlocked. The two men pried open the drive-thru register and then ripped out the main cash register drawer, Burns said. Each drawer held $150. The prying of the drive-thru window was a ploy to make it appear as if that was how the burglars entered the restaurant, Burns said.
Burns told the court Gregg was wearing clothes that matched what the masked burglar was wearing in the video, although Zang pointed out in his questioning that police wrote in the charges there was a third co-conspirator that was believed to be involved that hasn’t been identified.
Judge Jones said the totality of the evidence was enough to send all charges to court. Gregg had been charged with first-degree felony burglary, which applies to an occupied structure, so that charge was amended at the start of proceedings Wednesday to a second-degree felony, and a criminal trespass charge that had been a second-degree felony was downgraded to a third-degree because the building wasn’t broken into but entered through an unlocked door.
Cannady allegedly told police it was Gregg who called him about burglarizing the restaurant and gave a statement implicating them both, according to police. Cannady waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Both men are scheduled to appear today before Magisterial District Judge Matt Dunio for their preliminary hearings on felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from the Logan Township traffic stop where the gun, cash register drawer and other evidence was found. Cannady and Gregg both remain in Blair County Prison with total bail for each set at $150,000 cash.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.