Police combed a section of Warren centering on N. South Street and Madison Avenue on Tuesday afternoon in search of a suspected car thief.
According to City of Warren Police Detective Anthony Chimenti, police received a call reporting that a vehicle stolen Monday morning was spotted near the intersection of Russell Street and Madison Avenue at approximately 1:13 p.m. When officers arrived on the scene, Chimenti said, the driver abandoned the vehicle and fled into the surrounding neighborhood.
City police called for assistance from Conewango Township police, Warren-based state police, Pennsylvania state constables, Warren County Adult Probation officers, Warren County Sheriff's deputies and U.S. Forest Service officers to form a perimeter around an area stretching from Schantz to Russell streets, according to Chimenti.
Photo by Jacob Perryman
Members of law enforcement from a number of local agencies gathered to search an area near Madison Avenue and Russell Street in the City of Warren Tuesday afternoon in the hopes of locating a suspected car thief. Schools near the area where police believed the suspect was located experienced dismissal delays due to extra precautions.
Officers then systematically searched yards and questioned residents for more than two hours in search of the suspect.
According to Chimenti, residents reported seeing the suspect fleeing on Madison Avenue and into the surrounding area, but he remains at large.
The activity provided an unexpected ending to the first day of classes at some Warren schools.
South Street Early Learning Center, which was at the epicenter of the search, was on official lockdown beginning just before 1:30 p.m., according to Warren County School District Superintendent Brandon Hufnagel. Students were kept inside the building until buses arrived at the regular dismissal time and parents were called to provide rides to students who walked to school. Students were released into parents' custody or led out of the school in groups of children with a shared bus route.
Students who attend Beaty-Warren Middle School, Warren Area High School and Warren Area Elementary Center and walk to school were held at dismissal until rides could arrive for them.
"It's all about the kids' safety right now," Hufnagel said at the time.
Law enforcement personnel were present during the dismissal process.
Chimenti said police are looking for a white male in his early 20s who is just over six feet tall with a "thinner" build. According to Chimenti, the suspect has very short, clipped, black hair and "porkchop" style sideburns. He was last spotted wearing blue jeans, sneakers and a gray and black striped hooded sweatshirt, with a blue T-shirt underneath. He is reported to have been carrying a white shirt with him, police said.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of the suspect is asked to contact Warren City Police at 723-2700 or Warren County CrimeStoppers at 1-800-83-CRIME (27463).
"Any help would be appreciated," Chimenti said.