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10-year-old boy helps police catch burglar - abc27 WHTM

Cumberland County

10-year-old boy helps police catch burglar

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John Charles Rohrbaugh John Charles Rohrbaugh
NEWVILLE, Pa. (WHTM) -

State police say a 10-year-old child helped them to identify a man who broke into a home and stole a purse and diamond ring but left a key piece of evidence: his own phone number.

Police said 37-year-old John Charles Rohrbaugh went to a home in the first block of Subdivision Road in Upper Mifflin Township and was looking into a door window early Monday. The child heard Rohrbaugh trying to get into the house and hid.

When Rohrbaugh encountered the boy, he told him he was out of gas and needed to use the bathroom. He also asked to use a phone and then made several calls before stealing a purse and diamond ring, police said.

The child's father said his son was very afraid. 

"He was so scared, he really didn't know what to do," Mark Richmond said.

The boy told his parents and police what happened. He was able to give police important clues about the incident. While he was at the police barracks, he recognized a picture of Rohrbaugh and told investigators it was the man who broke into his home.

Rohrbaugh was arrested, and the boy's parents say they are very proud of their son.

"He handled it very well," Richmond said, "He is our hero.

Police also traced the number Rohrbaugh dialed from the boy's cell phone and found he had called his own number. Rohrbaugh was brought in for questioning and eventually confessed to the crime, police said.

The diamond ring was recovered from a jewelry dealer in the Carlisle area, but the purse and its contents were not recovered, police said.

Rohrbaugh was arrested for burglary and related offenses.

The following day, police said they discovered he had committed another burglary in the area and charges are now pending in that case.

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