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Inmate’s theft charges pile up

Man charged or storage unit burglaries

Coins worth thousands of dollars, a motorcycle transmission and assorted fake jewelry are being added to a list of charges against a Blair County Prison inmate.

Joshua W. Roland, 30, was arraigned Wednesday on multiple felony burglary and theft-related charges filed by Hollidaysburg police in relation to a burglarized storage unit at Hollidaysburg Mini Storage along Scotch Valley Road.

Using DNA comparison reports from a state police crime lab in Greensburg in conjunction with Roland’s Facebook messages, text messages, photos on his phone and letters from Roland intercepted by the Blair County Prison, borough police accused Roland of breaking into a Hollidaysburg Mini Storage unit between January 2019 and July 2019, stealing $15,000 in collectible coins, a trick-shift motorcycle transmission valued at $600 and about $100 worth of fake jewelry, which originally belonged to the victim’s deceased mother.

Roland was charged with one count each of burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking or disposition, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief, according to magisterial district court documents.

The charges follow a list of accusations previously filed against Roland by state police regarding storage unit burglaries, skill games theft and using counterfeit currency in 2019.

While awaiting trial in the Blair County Prison for skill games theft in July 2019, Roland was charged with multiple felony burglaries at self-storage units in Snyder Township, which included the theft of more than 60 power tools and seven firearms.

Law enforcement officers found connections between Roland and the Snyder Township storage unit crimes using information written in letters Roland tried to send to a family member from the Blair County Prison after he was arrested in July 2019, a Commonwealth criminal complaint stated.

The letters indicated Roland’s phones and Facebook messages could contain more information about stolen items.

The prison intercepted and opened Roland’s letters, because the envelope was sealed with Scotch tape, the complaint said. Blair County Prison considers Scotch tape contraband and prohibits inmates from using it to seal envelopes.

In July, Roland sued prison officials for allegedly confiscating a personal letter and turning it over to police.

As with the Snyder Township storage units, the Hollidaysburg storage renter discovered she was locked out of her storage unit Jan. 10 by a lock that was not her own, the criminal complaint stated. The storage renter discovered the unit was entered and items were missing after the storage facility’s maintenance staff cut the lock, granting her access. Hollidaysburg police responded to a call from maintenance staff and discovered a windbreaker near the renter’s open and emptied safe, which the renter said contained valuable coins.

The renter said the coat did not belong to her or her husband.

Hollidaysburg police requested the state police crime lab in Greensburg process the coat for DNA.

After comparing the DNA on the coat with a sample from Roland, the crime lab determined the DNA profile collected from the garment was far more likely to have originated from Roland and an unknown individual than two other unnamed, unrelated individuals in the population, the complaint stated.

Roland was unable to post his $50,000 cash bail, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 13.

Mirror Staff Writer Ike Fredregill is at 814-946-7458.

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