OC man charged for stealing tattoo business equipment

An Oil City man is facing charges for breaking into the Austin Ink tattoo business in Oil City and stealing equipment and supplies.

Tyler Strouse, 26, is also accused of taking a pistol and other items from a vehicle. Those items were reported stolen from the vehicle just before the Austin Ink burglary was reported.

Oil City police said in a criminal complaint they were called to Austin Ink at about 10 a.m. June 18 after an employee found the Duncomb Street store to be a mess and most of the equipment and supplies missing when he came in for an appointment.

The owner of the business told police that several of his expensive tattoo machines, as well as his inks and various other supplies, were missing, according to the complaint.

After playing back the shop’s security cameras, several minutes of video footage were found that captured the incident, the complaint said.

In the footage, a man who was later identified as Strouse entered the business through the back door carrying a firearm and proceeded to move through the business stealing items, the complaint said.

Strouse was apprehended later that day and found to be in possession of a pistol that had been reported stolen in the vehicle break-in, the complaint said.

Security footage from nearby Oil City Chemical showed Strouse moving items to the area behind the back parking lot and hiding them in the bushes, according to the complaint.

Police said they had found items stolen from the vehicle in the bushes nearby when they were seeking to find the stolen handgun. Those items were returned to the owner, according to the complaint.

When interviewed by police, Strouse gave details about the incidents, such as where he put the items he took and that he had taken a muscle relaxer that evening and smoked a little marijuana, according to the complaint.

The complaint notes that Strouse said he would be willing to apologize to the owners and work out some way to repay them for items police were unable to recover.

When police searched a backpack and dufflebag Strouse had in his possession at the time of his arrest, they found items taken from the vehicle and tattoo shop, including a loaded magazine for the stolen gun, the complaint said.

The complaint also notes that police found a glass pipe with residue that is commonly used for smoking methamphetamine and crack cocaine.

Strouse was charged with felony counts of burglary-not adapted for overnight accommodation, no person present, firearms not to be carried without a license, receiving stolen property and theft by unlawful taking-movable property, misdemeanor counts of theft from a motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance and use/possession of drug paraphernalia, and two summary counts of criminal mischief.

He was arraigned and then placed in the Venango County jail after failing to post bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled Wednesday in Central Court.