Two former Jefferson County residents have been charged with third-degree burglary for allegedly breaking into Herb Philipsons store and stealing seven firearms back in October 2010.
Philip E. Hemminger Jr., 21, formerly of Black River, and Andrew M. OConnor, 22, formerly of Carthage, were arrested on third-degree burglary charges by Watertown police Wednesday after being extradited from Pennsylvania. They were serving time for robbery and auto theft in Huntington, Pa.
They are accused of breaking into the store at 1283 Price Chopper Plaza, Arsenal St., at 1:48 a.m. Oct. 1, 2010, and taking seven guns from a store case. On Thursday, they were arraigned in Watertown City Court and then sent to the Metro-Jefferson Public Safety Building, where they are being held on $50,000 bail each.
During the Herb Philipsons break-in, the two allegedly smashed a display case and took six rifles and a 12-gauge shotgun, valued at about $5,250. The two men were caught five days later trying to sell the guns at a pawn shop in Rolla, Mo., when a store clerk became suspicious and called police. When officers arrived, they determined the Dodge Dakota the two men were driving was stolen from Schuylkill County, Pa., and found the six stolen guns inside the vehicle, police said. The rifle was found by the Salmon River in the village of Pulaski about a year later, according to court documents.
Mr. Hemminger admitted to city police that he was involved in the Herb Phillipsons burglary.