Appeal from judgment of sentence of Court of Common Pleas of Butler County, June T., 1972, Nos. CA 174, 175, and 176, in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Michael R. Kaschik.
August J. Costanzo, for appellant.
Robert F. Hawk, First Assistant District Attorney, and John H. Brydon, District Attorney, for Commonwealth, appellee.
Watkins, P. J., Jacobs, Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Spaeth, JJ. Opinion by Jacobs, J. Hoffman and Spaeth, JJ., concur in the result.
[ 235 Pa. Super. Page 389]
This appeal challenges the validity of a search warrant used by the police and the scope of their subsequent
[ 235 Pa. Super. Page 390]
search pursuant to the warrant. Not only do we find that the warrant was valid, but we also agree with the Commonwealth that the police did not exceed the boundaries of their search. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of sentence.
Testimony given at the suppression hearing related the following facts: In March, 1972, the residence of a Glen Jefferies was searched by Trooper Bard and Trooper Schneider of the Pennsylvania State Police. A tool box which was recognized as being stolen from an establishment known as McDonald Motors was discovered. As a result of this, Mr. Jefferies informed the troopers that he had obtained the tool box from a Raymond Bester. Trooper Bard contacted Mr. Bester who stated that he had purchased the tool box from a Lee Schweinsberg along with some other tools which were produced and recognized by the trooper as stolen property. Trooper Bard was informed by Mr. Bester that Lee Schweinsberg had told him that he had additional tools at the Wimer Auto Body Shop where Schweinsberg was supposed to be working. Mr. Bester was later placed under arrest. On March 28, 1972, Trooper Bard applied for a search warrant for the Wimer Auto Body Shop. A description of several different types of tools was given as the property to be seized. The written affidavit on the warrant alleging probable cause for the search was as follows: "According to information received from Raymond Eugene Bester, who claimed he purchased tools from Lee Edward Schwein[s]berg, also claimed that the said Lee Edward Schwein[s]berg had delivered the above described tools and property to The Wimer Auto-body and Car Sales sometime during the week of March 19, 1972." Based on the above affidavit and other oral testimony given to the magistrate, the search warrant was issued that same day.
Trooper Bard and another state trooper proceeded to the body shop. When they arrived no one was there so they entered through an unlocked door. Inside the shop several
[ 235 Pa. Super. Page 391]
tools were discovered that had been allegedly stolen from McDonald Motors. Trooper Bard also noticed three automobiles inside the shop, one of which had many of its parts removed, and decided to write down their serial numbers. After returning to the barracks with the confiscated tools, Trooper Bard ran a N.C.I.C. (National Crime Information Center) check on the serial numbers of the vehicles and learned that one of them, a green Ford Mustang, had been reported by Pittsburgh Police as stolen. The next day, March 29, 1972, another search warrant was obtained and the stolen vehicle was recovered.
The testimony at trial revealed that when Trooper Bard returned to the Wimer Auto Body Shop on March 29, 1972, to seize the stolen vehicle, he observed a wrecked 1970 Ford Maverick parked in front of the lot. Upon closer examination of the vehicle, Trooper Bard noticed that there was no manufacturer's serial number on either the ...