Man charged in theft of rifles from Rural King

An 18-year-old Pittsburgh man has been charged in a recent burglary and the theft of two AK-47 style rifles from Rural King in Sugarcreek Borough.

On May 13 at about 2:30 a.m., Franklin state police responded to an alarm in Rural King on Allegheny Boulevard, where they found someone had “forcibly entered the store” and smashed a display case containing handguns, state police said in a criminal complaint.

A man, later identified as Raejon Williams, was seen in surveillance footage approaching Rural King at about 1:30 a.m., jumping a chain-link fence and prying open a locked door on the side of the building facing Front Street, the complaint said.

Once in the store, Williams grabbed an ax off the shelf and started smashing the handgun display case, but he was unable to gain access to the handguns in the case, the complaint said.

He also picked up a box containing an airsoft gun, but he left that behind, the complaint said, noting that while he was in the store he seemed to be talking to someone on a cellphone.

Williams took two 30-round AK-47 magazines off a shelf and then went to the rifle display rack and began prying at them, breaking one rifle in the process, the complaint said.

Williams, dressed in all black, including a black mask and a black Ohio State sweatshirt, and white sneakers, took two AK-47 style guns and fled the store on foot, the complaint said.

Police collected items Williams had touched to get his fingerprints and DNA, and they also collected a palm print from the scene, the complaint said.

After photos from the surveillance footage were sent to local media, a teen, who said he had seen the pictures on social media, came to police and identified Williams, saying he had known Williams for years and went to school with him, and that Williams had even lived with him for several months before moving out in November, the complaint said.

On May, 13 in the early morning hours, the teen said, Williams had asked him for a ride but he told Williams he couldn’t give him a ride, the complaint said.

When the teen was traveling along Route 8 after leaving Oil City at about 3:30 a.m. on May 13, he saw Williams walking along Route 8 toward Oil City near Komatsu, so he stopped and gave Williams a ride, the complaint said.

The teen said Williams had two rifles, the description of which matched the ones stolen from Rural King, wrapped in a sweatshirt and Williams told him he got the rifles from his mother, the complaint said.

The teen dropped off Williams along Washington Avenue in Oil City, the complaint said. He also noted he had given Williams the Ohio State hoodie while Williams was living with him, the complaint said.

On Monday, after further investigation, police were granted a search warrant for Williams’ DNA and fingerprints and went to a residence on Washington Avenue to try to make contact with him, the complaint said.

A woman at the house said she was related to Williams and that he was not there; instead, he was in class at the Job Corp in Pittsburgh, where he was a student, the complaint said.

Police verified with the school that Williams was there and then contacted Pittsburgh state police, who served the search warrants, the complaint said.

Williams admitted to taking the rifles from Rural King and said he no longer was in possession of the guns, the complaint said.

Williams has been charged with felony counts of burglary- not adapted to overnight accommodation, no person present, theft by unlawful taking- movable property, and criminal mischief- damage property.

He was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Patrick Lowrey and placed in Venango County jail with bail denied due to Williams being a flight risk.

Williams’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday in Central Court.