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COMMONWEALTH v. DRAVECZ (04/14/66)

decided: April 14, 1966.

COMMONWEALTH
v.
DRAVECZ, APPELLANT



Appeal from judgment of Court of Quarter Sessions of Lehigh County, April T., 1964, No. 78, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Joseph J. Dravecz.

COUNSEL

Michael V. Franciosa, for appellant.

Frederick I. Charles, Assistant District Attorney, with him George J. Joseph, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Ervin, P. J., Wright, Watkins, Montgomery, Jacobs, Hoffman, and Spaulding, JJ. Opinion by Jacobs, J. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Hoffman, J.

Author: Jacobs

[ 207 Pa. Super. Page 485]

Joseph J. Dravecz appeals from the judgment of sentence imposed after his motions in arrest of judgment and for a new trial were denied. He was convicted of burglary, larceny and receiving stolen goods and was fined $100, sentenced to the Lehigh County Prison for one (1) to two (2) years and ordered to make restitution in the sum of $3,000.

Following are the relevant facts which we have taken from the opinion of Judge Scheirer for the court below:

"Sometime between the late afternoon of July 3 and the early morning of July 5, 1963 a trailer used for the storage of construction equipment and located on a job in Hanover Township, Lehigh County (within a short distance of the Lehigh-Northampton County line) was forcibly entered and tools such as air hammers, drills, pumps, a cutting torch and an air hose were found to be missing on July 5. Serial numbers of missing wacker type hammers were provided to the police. Prior to the dates in question and subsequent thereto, the defendant was employed as a laborer by the construction company owning the trailer.

"On December 28, 1963, two members of the Pennsylvania State Police, armed with search warrants, visited a farm owned by defendant's parents and located in Northampton County. Upon a search of the barn, the officers found four jackhammers, two pavement breakers, two wacker tampers, a pump, acetylene hose and torches. Two of the serial numbers noted at the time of the burglary were on wacker tampers found in the barn. Other items were of the type as were discovered missing in the trailer. The property stolen had an estimated value of $6,000 and the property retrieved had an estimated value of $3,000. There was evidence that the farmhouse, though being remodelled, was occupied and personal items therein such as clothing, letters

[ 207 Pa. Super. Page 486]

    and checks pointed to its occupancy by the defendant. Further, the address was the same as appeared on defendant's driver's license.

"Defendant, apparently learning that he was wanted, voluntarily appeared at the State Police Barracks on December 30, 1963 and denied the burglary. He was confronted with a statement by one Stockley to the effect that in July, 1963 the defendant and another appeared at Stockley's residence in a green pickup truck carrying construction equipment including jackhammers and the defendant asked Stockley to sell the equipment. Upon this confrontation, defendant remained mute.

"On December 17, 1963, defendant, Carl Stass and Eugene Stockley appeared at a concrete construction company office in Northampton County in a green pickup truck upon which was loaded two compactors (tampering machines) and a pump. The equipment was offered for sale whereupon a company official gave a check in the sum of $450 to Carl Stass upon his assertion that the items belonged to his brother. The items then were unloaded and placed in a garage. The next morning the same three individuals returned and sought to rescind the sale because the price was inadequate. The company released the articles and received the check given the previous day. The equipment was reloaded in the green truck and ...


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