Meadville Tribune

January 17, 2013

Area man arrested for vandalizing house near well site

By Keith Gushard
MEADVILLE TRIBUNE

EAST FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP — Pennsylvania State Police have arrested a Carlton area man for an alleged weekend vandalism of his former home in East Fairfield Township, a residence now owned by oil and gas company Range Resources.

Police allege Gary R. Vogan Jr., 31, of 13 W. Creek Road, Carlton, entered the house at 6209 Pettis Road, near the Lippert Unit 1H well, without consent of Range Resources and proceeded to break glass, knock holes in the walls and remove a portion of water pipe which caused significant flood damage. The incident happened between 11:30 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday, according to state police.

Arrest records also indicated Vogan allegedly damaged turf in the property’s yard with his Ford F-250 pickup truck, bringing total estimated damage costs to an excess of $5,000.

Vogan was arraigned Wednesday before Magisterial District Judge Lincoln Zilhaver on single counts of burglary, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and trespass by a motor vehicle. He was placed in Crawford County jail in lieu of $25,000 bond. A preliminary hearing on the charges is scheduled before Magisterial District Judge Michael Rossi Jan. 25.

If convicted on all charges, Vogan faces up to 34 years and 90 days in jail and $55,500 in fines.

Range Resources spokesperson Matt Pitzarella called the incident a “typical vandalism,” but offered no further details as the company turned the matter over to the authorities. It was not stated what use Range Resources has for the home on the property, which is near its active well operation in the Pettis Road area.

In 2011, Range Resources purchased the home and 31 acres of property from Vogan and his then-wife, Jessica Vogan, for $170,000, according to public records filed at the Register and Recorder’s Office at the Crawford County Courthouse. The deal was signed Sept. 23, 2011, and recorded Sept. 27, 2011.

State police have offered no clear motive, as the crime is still under investigation, said Trooper Chad Seger, the investigating officer.

Property records filed at the Register and Recorder’s Office at the Crawford County Courthouse show Vogan purchased the home and 31 acres for $1 from the estate of his late father on Jan. 29, 2009. Vogan was administrator of the estate, according to records.

On Feb. 22, 2010, Vogan and his wife were paid $15,000 by Range Resources in a right-of-way agreement for Range’s construction of a pipeline through the property, according to records.

On March 18, 2011, Vogan alone had taken out a $25,000 open ended mortgage with First National Bank of Pennsylvania, according records.

After the house was sold by the Vogans to Range Resources, a mortgage satisfaction notice for the $25,000 First National loan was signed Oct. 12, 2011, and recorded with the county on Oct. 17, 2011.

Criminal court records show Gary Vogan has had three previous minor legal offenses in Crawford County.

On March 26, 2004, Vogan was sentenced in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas to serve one to two months in Crawford County jail and pay $379 in fines and court costs for possession of drug paraphernalia. Titusville Police filed the charge for an incident July 22, 2002. He pleaded guilty to the charge in county court Feb. 26, 2004.

Also on March 26, 2004, Vogan was given a concurrent jail sentence of one to two months in county jail by Crawford County Court and ordered to pay $290 in fines and court costs for retail theft. Meadville Police filed the charge for an incident Dec. 15, 2003. He pleaded guilty to the charge in county court Feb. 9, 2004.

On Nov. 14, 2011, Vogan pleaded guilty before Magisterial District Judge Michael Rossi to a summary count of harassment and was ordered to pay $197.55 in fines and court costs. Pennsylvania State Police filed the charge for an incident Sept. 17, 2011, in Vernon Township.



Konstantine Fekos can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kfekos@meadvilletribune.com.