Two local men are facing multiple felonies in connection with an alleged plot to break into the Gulf Station on the 600 block of East High Street and steal cigarettes.
Daniel Stradley, 19, of Douglassville, and Lonnie Ernst, 22, who is homeless, are facing charges of conspiracy to commit burglary, attempt to commit burglary, defiant trespass and conspiracy to commit defiant trespass following their arrest on November 26. Ernst faces an additional misdemeanor charge of possession of drug paraphernalia, after police allegedly found a marijuana pipe in his pocket.
According to court records, a police officer on patrol observed Ernst standing in the dark next to the Gulf Station at 12:39 a.m. While continuing to observe the gas station, the officer noticed a second person - later identified as Stradley - approach the gas station. Stradley then joined Ernst and walked out of sight to the rear of the building, the report states.
Court documents state that the officer approached the two men, who were wearing gloves and carrying bandanas, and asked what they were doing. The records indicate that Ernst said he was meeting up with a friend, but could not name that friend when questioned by police. The officer then took both men into custody for trespassing.
Once in custody, Stradley allegedly confessed to police that the duo had planned to steal cigarettes from the gas station, and that Stradley would serve as the lookout while Ernst kicked in the door, the report states. Stradley also allegedly admitted that they had the bandanas on so they could conceal their faces.