Police looking for Shippensburg man who allegedly burglarized 12 restaurants and a church

UPDATE (2/25): Heinzman was arraigned at 7:50pm on Friday night by on-call Magisterial District Judge Glenn Kenneth Manns. He is behind bars on $500,000 bail. Heinzman’s preliminary hearing is set for March 7th.

24 February 2023- A Shippensburg man is on the run after being charged with burglary and other charges stemming from a string of business break ins. Chester Franklin Heinzman is charged with 12 counts of felony burglary, one count of felony criminal trespass, 8 counts of felony theft, and 13 counts of misdemeanor criminal mischief. Heinzman has a warrant out for his arrest at time of writing.

Police were dispatched on 10/10/22 to the Little Dipper restaurant around 5:30am for reports of a burglary. Additionally, while on scene they learned of a similar break in the same night prior at Pat and Carla’s II, both on Lincoln Way West in Hamilton Township. During the break-ins money was stolen from cash registers, tip jars, and filing cabinets. The amount total between the two break ins was in the hundreds of dollars.

On 10/13/22, PSP were dispatched to the Hickory Ridge Restaurant in Greene Township for similar reports, with $170 being taken from the cash register and tip jar. The next day, police were dispatched to the China One restaurant again on Lincoln Way West in Hamilton Township. The thief had stolen around $2,150 from bank deposit bags and the register. Throughout October and November of 2022, police received reports of break ins from Brothers Pizza in Hamilton Township, Iglesia Christiana Church in Hamilton Township, Maria and Sal’s Pizzeria, Vinny’s Pizza, Mercersburg Beverage, Maplewood Farm Market, and Windy Knoll Market.

Almost none of the restaurants or marketplaces had security cameras or burglar alarms, so an exact time of theft and a description of the suspect was unknown. Additionally, the buildings had shown signs of forced entry and damage to where money was kept. It wasn’t until the thefts at Vinny’s Pizza and Mercersburg Beverage where police were able to get a description of the suspect through security camera footage on scene and private security cameras from a neighbor. Police found the burglar leaving in a silver Dodge Journey in one, with the other showing the burglar as being about 5’5″, dark sweatshirt, dark pants, colored beanie, and gardening style gloves and carrying a yellow pry bar.

Police were able to obtain a search warrant from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon to get relevant phone records of people who were in the area at the time of one of the nights, 11/19. That night three businesses had been burglarized near each other. Cell towers show only two data points from that night, one for a PSP-Chambersburg patrol unit who was working and one of another man.

Police contacted that man, who’s girlfriend answered the phone and said that her boyfriend’s friend Chester from Shippensburg owned one. Chester was found to be Chester Heinzman, whom the man had met previously. The man did not fit the physical description of the burglar but according to prior police records Chester Heinzman did. Heinzman is listed as 5’5″ and 160 lbs.

Interviews were conducted with the informant himself, who allegedly said he had met Heinzman previously and became friends in addition to coworkers with him. The informant then said that the gloves in question used in the burglaries had been company issued gloves for their work in Carlisle. Continuing, the informant said that he had driven Heinzman around to the burglaries across Franklin County, including the ones that occurred on 11/19 (when the cell phone data was from). After seeing police issued a release about the silver Dodge Journey being used in the crimes, Heinzman allegedly decided to sell it and get a new car.

Heinzman is free and has a warrant out for his arrest. Anyone with information on Heinzman should call Pennsylvania State Police- Chambersburg at 717-264-5161.

Sources: Incident Number: PA 2022-1250464, Docket Number: MJ-39304-CR-0000058-2023