Suspect arrested in jewelry thefts at Ephrata Kmart

Ephrata police have arrested a Lancaster man in two smash-and-grab burglaries where about $71,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from a Kmart store.

Timothy J. Schittler, 23, is accused of break-ins at the store at 1127 S. State Street in Ephrata Township on June 3, 2013 and on March 25, police said.

Schittler last year allegedly broke through the glass doors in the garden center while the store was closed for business and stole a jewelry display case from the jewelry counter. The jewelry was estimated to be worth about $30,000.

Police believe he cut the wire that secured the display case to the counter when he was inside the store two days earlier.

Schittler allegedly returned to the store in March and again broke the garden center doors while the store was closed for business, then smashed the jewelry display cases and took more than $41,000 worth of jewelry including gold chains, wedding sets and diamonds.

Lancaster City/County Crime Stoppers on April 7 announced a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. Police said information received through Crime Stoppers assisted in the investigation.

Schittler was arrested Friday and charged with two counts each of burglary and theft by unlawful taking. He was sent to Lancaster County Prison on $10,000 cash bail.

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