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Newtown Square Man Faces Charges in Burglarizing Grandfather's Office

The following information has been provided by the Newtown Township Police Department. Any arrests or charges mentioned do not indicate guilt or conviction.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–On Thursday, Sept. 13, at approximately 10:25 p.m., Newtown police responded to a burglary in progress at 3 North Line Road in Newtown Square.

Police were advised that a man wearing gray camouflage shorts and a gray shirt was observed climbing into the second-floor window of the Delaware County-Chester County Answering Service office building.

According to the report, the man was seen exiting the second-floor window, walk across the overhang roof, down the length of the building and climbing into another window. A witness reported observing the man walking outside the office windows on the overhang roof towards West Chester Pike/Route 3, according to the report.

The witness reported, a few minutes later, according to the report, hearing someone rummage through the closed office on the other side of the call center wall. In addition, the witness observed the man walking back along the outside overhang towards the rear of the building and back towards, what was later identified as, to his apartment on North Line Road, according to the report. The witness was able to identify the man as Joseph Stonelake, 30, of Newtown Square.

Upon arrival to Stonelake's apartment, both Marple and Newtown police were able to speak to Stonelake and the homeowner. According to the report, police observed Stonelake wearing the gray camouflage shorts and gray shirt as reported by the witness.

Police advised Stonelake he was a suspect in a burglary that had just occurred and will be detained for further investigation, according to the report. While patting Stonelake down, police discovered a Winchester silver pocket knife as well as $71 in his pant's pockets.

Police were able to make contact with the owner of the Delaware County-Chester County Answerving Service, also Stonelake's grandfather, who showed police the locked management office on the second floor of the building.

According to the report, police observed the outside window, facing North Line Road, open and the blinds in disarray. Boxes on the floor were also observed to be crushed with scuff marks on top of the boxes, according to the report.

Upon further investigation, police observed the financial closet door jam pried open. Police observed fresh pry marks on the door with wood splinters scattered around the floor. Police believe the pry marks have appeared to have been done by a sharp object.

Upon opening the closet door, money envelopes were observed on the shelf for employees at the company. One envelope that had been stapled shut appeared to have been ripped open on the ends, according to the report, with cash missing.

Police noted the rest of the envelopes to still be in tact. The owner of the company told police the envelopes were prepared earlier that day and secured for employees' pay.

Upon further investigation of the office, police observed the tip of the Winchester pocket knife broken off and sitting on top of one of the boxes in the office, according to the report. 

The owner of the company spoke to his grandson, Stonelake, in which Stonelake admitted to the burglary and confessed to breaking into the closet and stealing an employee's pay. Stonelake told police and his grandfather that he did it because he "was broke," according to the report.

Stonelake faces a felony charge on Criminal Trespassing–Break Into Structure and misdemeanor charges of Possessing Instrument of Crime with Intent; Theft by Unlawful Taking; and Receiving Stolen Property.

A preliminary arraignment was held on Sept. 14 for Stonelake. Stonelake's bail changed from $25,000 with a 10 percent cash option to $10,000 with no cash option, per Magisterial District Judge Leon Hunter.

Stonelake was unable to post bail and is held at Delaware County Prison. A preliminary hearing has been continued to Oct. 25 before Judge Hunter. 


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