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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. ROBERT PRENGLE (11/30/81)

filed: November 30, 1981.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA,
v.
ROBERT PRENGLE, APPELLANT



COUNSEL

Elaine DeMasse, Assistant Public Defender, Philadelphia, for appellant.

Gaele McLaughlin Barthold, Assistant District Attorney, Philadelphia, for Commonwealth, appellee.

Brosky, Johnson and Popovich, JJ.

Author: Popovich

[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 66]

Appellant, Robert Prengle, also referred to as Robert Pringle, was arrested on March 12, 1979, and charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal trespass and possessing an instrument of crime. A timely filed pre-trial motion to suppress evidence was heard and denied. Immediately thereafter, appellant was found guilty in a non-jury trial of burglary*fn1 only. Post-verdict motions were denied and appellant was sentenced to serve an eighteen month to three year term of imprisonment. This direct appeal followed.

Appellant's sole contention on appeal is that the evidence obtained as a result of his allegedly illegal arrest was impermissibly admitted into evidence. We disagree and affirm the judgment of sentence.

The facts, which are not in dispute, are as follows:

On March 12, 1979, at approximately 5:50 A.M., Officer Randy Jaudon of the Philadelphia Police Force received a J Band*fn2 radio bulletin advising him that a burglary had been committed at 1020 Spring Garden Street. The bulletin further advised the officer that an unknown male would be driving a truck "loaded with tires and bearing the logo 'Center City Tire Company.'" Officer Jaudon immediately

[ 293 Pa. Super. Page 67]

    proceeded to an exit ramp on the Expressway on a "hunch" that, based on the location of Center City Tire Company, the driver probably would use the expressway and exit at that ramp. Within five minutes of his arrival at the exit ramp, Officer Jaudon stopped an individual, later identified as appellant, driving a truck loaded with tires, and bearing the logo "Center City Tire Company." The officer approached the truck, asked appellant to remove himself from the cab, conducted a frisk of appellant's outer clothing for the purpose of discovering dangerous instrumentalities, and asked appellant for identification. After failing to respond to Officer Jaudon's request to produce a driver's license and an owner's card, appellant was placed under arrest. Officer Jaudon then searched the truck and recovered forty-three tires and two boxes filled with cigarettes, peanuts, and crackers. Appellant was found to be in possession of a screwdriver and "what appeared to be a switch with a key."

Appellant contends on appeal that his arrest was unlawful. More specifically, appellant argues that because the Commonwealth failed to satisfy its burden of demonstrating either (1) probable cause for the issuance of the bulletin which prompted the arrest or (2) that the arresting officer independently possessed reasonable suspicion to stop appellant, all physical evidence should have been suppressed as the fruit of an unlawful arrest.*fn3

For the following reasons, we reject appellant's contention.

To begin with, the United States Supreme Court ...


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