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Law Enforcement: Top Priority Is To Find Fugitive, Van

August 2, 2018
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Law Enforcement: Top Priority Is To Find Fugitive, Van

WEST HAZLETON — A man resembling fugitive Shawn Christy stole a uniquely marked school bus company van Sunday night, officials say.

Christy, 26, has been wanted for making threats against President Donald Trump, law enforcement and others since June 20 when state and federal agents, along with local police, showed up at his McAdoo home.

A backpack-clad man similar in appearance to Christy stole the silver 2008 Dodge Grand Caravan van from Rohrer Bus Co., off Route 309 in Drums, on Sunday. The van has a yellow and black decal on the front and rear that reads, “SCHOOL STUDENTS,” and that signage is unable to be removed, according to Deputy Robert Clark, supervisor of the U.S. Marshals’ fugitive task force.

The van has Pennsylvania registration “SV21749” and “ROHRER” is written in red on the driver and passenger side doors. The number “0870” is on the right and left quarter panels, and on the front underneath one of the headlights. The driver’s side headlight is inoperable.

The U.S. Marshal service is again asking the public for help, reminding that they are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his arrest, while the FBI is offering up to $10,000 for information — leaving the total reward at $15,000.

Christy, who’s accused of stealing three semi-automatic pistols, ammunition and other provisions from a relative’s home on Klinger Road in Drums last week, is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. Instead, law enforcement encourages anyone who knows his location or who sees the van to call 911, the U.S. Marshals’ tipline at 877-926-8332 or the FBI at 215-418-4000.

Clark said federal agents were alerted to the burglary and vehicle theft at Rohrer on Wednesday morning. He said those crimes are actively being investigated.

He added the “No. 1 priority” for law enforcement right now is locating that van.

Marshals and Butler Twp. police explored the area of the bus company most of the day Wednesday but were unable to release information until Wednesday afternoon during a news conference at the state police barracks in West Hazleton.

U.S. Marshal Martin Pane joined Clark at the news conference.

Pane reiterated that Christy and the van shouldn’t be approached. When asked if law enforcement was concerned that Christy was still on the run with a visit from Trump scheduled Thursday in Wilkes-Barre Twp., he responded that anyone who threatens or allegedly threatens someone else is always a concern to law enforcement. Officials are concerned with bringing Christy into custody as soon as possible, Pane said.

Christy is wanted in Northampton, Schuylkill, Carbon and Luzerne counties for other cases, some of which occurred while he was on the run. In addition, he’s wanted for threats he’s accused of making through social media posts between June 3 and 12 against Trump, the Northampton County District Attorney and law enforcement. Authorities say Christy threatened to “put a bullet” in Trump’s head. A federal arrest warrant was issued for Christy by the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre, after he was charged with interstate communication of threats and threats against the president of the United States.

Law enforcement searched wooded areas and buildings in McAdoo and Kline Twp. beginning June 20, and then turned their search north after Christy allegedly stole a vehicle from his former employer in Banks Twp. on July 7. The vehicle was later ditched near the Canadian border where law enforcement found it the following day.

Marshals said he is then believed to have stolen a vehicle in New York, about 10 miles away from Constable, later abandoning it after it overheated on Interstate 81. Then on July 17, federal, state and local law enforcement searched woods behind the Scranton School for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Children in Clarks Green, Lackawanna County, after video surveillance from four days earlier showed someone who “strongly resembles” Christy breaking in and stealing food.

Christy allegedly broke into his uncle’s home in Butler Twp. on July 25, taking handguns and leaving notes behind for his mother and uncle.

Law enforcement said he stands about 5 feet, 10 inches tall, has brown hair and green eyes and weighs 150 to 165 pounds. He may or may not have facial hair.

Contact the writer:

achristman@standardspeaker.com; 570-501-3584

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