By Joe Beck
Strasburg police on Monday night arrested and charged a 22-year-old town man who they believe is responsible for the March 29 home invasion of Eleanor Miller's residence on South Funk Street.
In a news release, Chief Tim Sutherly said police arrested Sean Thomas Hall of 715 Capon Road. Sutherly said investigators believe Hall entered the home at least twice, once on Jan. 8 while Miller, 83, was having surgery and not at home, and in the early morning hours of March 29.
The intruder in the March 29 incident tied up Miller, covered her heard and ransacked the her home for an hour, police say.
Sutherly said police arrested Hall at his home and took him to the police station where they said they obtained a partial confession from him.
"He basically admitted to being in the house but not tying her up," Sutherly said of Hall.
Sutherly said Hall and Miller know each other. Hall visited Miller's house as recently as this past winter to shovel snow for pay.
"He's been coming to her house since basically he was a child doing chores for her with his parents," Sutherly said.
Sutherly said he believes Hall committed his alleged crimes to feed a heroin addiction he has acquired in recent years.
Sutherly said police have found some of the jewelry stolen from Miller during the home invasion and connected it to Hall. He said investigators also have found other unspecified evidence linking Hall to the crime.
"I can tell you we traced some of the property back to him that he sold," Sutherly said, adding that police discovered Hall is under investigation related to drug use in other jurisdictions."
Sutherly said Hall has been charged with burglary, grand larceny with intent to sell, and possession of stolen property with intent to sell, all from the Jan. 8 incident. Further charges linked to the March 29 home invasion are pending, Sutherly said.
Hall was being held without bail in the Shenandoah County Jail as of Tuesday morning.
Sutherly said police charged Hall with intent to distribute ecstasy when he was in high school. He described Hall as a good student and athlete whose life has gone steadily downhill since the initial drug charge.
"A lot of kids are making poor choices," Sutherly said. "I feel bad for his family and Mrs. Miller. It's a no-win for anyone."
Anyone with additional information is asked to call Capt. C.D. Wilkin at 465-5230.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org