Township supervisor arrested for gun theft
● By Richard Gaw
Richard L. Gaw, Staff
London Grove Township resident Raymond W. Schoen, the newest member of the township's Board of Supervisors, was formally taken under arrest on Feb. 10 by the Birmingham Township Police on a triple count of criminal tresspassing, theft and receiving stolen property, for his involvement in the alleged stealing of firearms from a Birmingham Township home in December.
The charges filed against Schoen, 42, stem from an incident that was reported to Birmingham Township police on Dec. 16, 2015 by township resident John Fraser of Queens Ranger Lane. As detailed in the official police description, Fraser said that he was getting ready for bed on Dec. 15, when he noticed that a gun case beneath his bed -- one that held a Beretta Weatherby Mark V Deluxe SC682 and a shotgun -- was missing. Following a search of the house, Fraser opened his gun safe -- located in the closet of the master bedroom -- and found that a single bolt action from the rifle was also missing.
Fraser told police that prior to departing for vacation with his wife Mae that he had hired Schoen -- who identifies himelf as a tax accountant and a pet sitter through his website www.thepackleader.net -- to watch the family cat while the Frasers were away. Fraser told police that Schoen was given a key to the residence and its alarm code.
On Feb. 3, Fraser contacted the township police to inform them that he had spoken with a representative from Miller's Gun Shop, located at 97 West Jackson Avenue in New Castle, where he had orginally purchased the now missing guns in 1998. The police report stated that Lawrence Hudson, the general manager of the shop, informed police that a white, middle-aged male had visited the store in late December, carrying a Beretta Weatherby Mark V Deluxe SC682 and a shotgun, in a beretta gun case.
Hudson later identified Schoen from a lineup of eight photographs, circling and identifying Schoen as the man who possessed the firearms. Hudson told the police that Schoen had entered the store with the intent to sell the guns to the store, at a value more than what they are valued at. Schoen then left the store carrying the guns.
On Feb. 10, accompanied by a search warrant, members of the township police entered Schoen's home in London Grove Township and, after a thorough search of the home, found both the Mark V Deluxe and the shotgun, and later identified both guns as stolen.
Schoen was then placed into custody and transported to State Police Avondale. He was later released on his own recognizance, and will receive a preliminary hearing on March 1, beginning at 8:30 a.m., in the Kennett Square District Court.
Schoen ran unopposed in the November 2015 election, and began his tenure on the London Grove board on Jan. 1, 2016, for a six-year tenure that will end on Dec. 31, 2021. A representative from London Grove Township said that the township's board have not met to discuss Schoen's recent arrest.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
schoen Courtesy photo Raymond W. Schoen