Abraham Weiner, in pro. per.
Stanley B. Gomberg, Samuel Dash, Asst. Dist. Attys., Michael von Moschzisker, First Asst. Dist. Atty., Richardson Dilworth, Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, for appellee.
Before Hirt, Acting P. J., and Ross, Gunther, Wright, Woodside and Ervin, JJ.
[ 176 Pa. Super. Page 256]
On July 18, 1952 Aaron Weiner a thirteen-year old boy and his companion, John Spence, also known as John Wapner, were brought into the Juvenile Court on charges of delinquency. Nine burglaries had been committed within a period of two weeks; Aaron Weiner admitted that he had participated with Spence in seven of them. At the first hearing on August 8, 1952, the hearing judge stressed the importance of restitution to those whose property had been taken in Cheltenham Township, Montgomery County. At the suggestion of the court Abraham Weiner the father of one of the boys retired from the hearing room and discussed settlement with those present whose homes had been entered. But because witnesses as to two or three burglaries
[ 176 Pa. Super. Page 257]
in Philadelphia County did not appear, the hearing judge stated: '* * * I will defer sentence until we can hear them. With respect to both boys, as to damage they did, I will take into consideration what adjustment is made with the prosecution, the people whose homes were burglarized. I will defer sentence, and both boys are to be held.' An officer of the court reported that Aaron Weiner's father had deposited $185 with the 'restitution department' of the court of the adjustment of the Cheltenham losses and the case was then continued to August 29, 1952 by the court; 'Both defendants to be held in the House of Detention.' At the hearing on August 29, 1952, the court stated to Abraham Weiner: '* * * you were here before and we told you to make some adjustment with the people whose homes were ransacked in Cheltenham' and referring to burglaries committed in Philadelphia the court said to the father of the boy: 'I am placing Aaron on strict probation, restitution in the amount of $585 to be made before Aaron Weiner is released. Otherwise he will stand committed.' The court indicated that Abraham Weiner was to pay that amount. And when he deposited $270 the court gave him until September 15, 1952 to pay the balance, and placed Aaron on probation in the custody of his father, apparently subject to some supervision by the Big Brother Association. The Spence boy was committed to Hawthorne Knolls School.
On November 17, 1952 Abraham Weiner again appeared in the Juvenile Court pursuant to notice. The hearing was addressed solely to the question of further payments by him. He had disregarded a recent demand of a Mr. Blank to pay him $62.50, the value of property taken from his house by the boys. Abraham Weiner stated to the court that he needed six months to pay off the loan by which he raised the $585 previously
[ 176 Pa. Super. Page 258]
paid. And when he questioned his liability to pay the total amount of the losses, since there were two boys involved, the lower court found him guilty of contempt 'for lack of cooperation.' He was committed to the county prison but was released later when the court stated: 'I will release him from the County Prison on the charge of contempt, but the restitution is to be paid, and probation is continued as to the boy.'
Abraham Weiner again appeared in the lower court on November 24, 1952. He was summoned because he had failed to make restitution in still another case for property taken from owners in Elkins Park. The court again stressed the importance of restitution and said: 'It is up to you to adjust this, with reference to this claim in Elkins Park.'
All of the offenses were statutory burglaries committed in the daytime. The boys rode about on their bicycles and broke into houses which appeared to have been closed for some time. They stole a long list of articles -- fishing tackle, guns and cameras and the like and committed serious acts of vandalism in some instances. The Weiner boy undoubtedly was led astray by his associate who had prior experience in similar delinquencies. Aaron had never been in trouble before and there is no suggestion that he has misbehaved since he was returned to his family. The orders of the court committing the ...