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FROM STAFF REPORTS

A homeless man and a Mahoningtown woman are facing charges, accused of entering a now-vacant building at the former UPMC Jameson South building.

New Castle police have charged Jason Fronius, 40, who stays at the City Rescue Mission, and Jayla Robin Price, 33, of 208 Rabbit Ave. They are accused of entering the building around 4 p.m. Oct. 6 while a security guard was inside securing the building, according to a criminal complaint.

The police reported that the guard saw the couple climbing through a hole in the fence and entering the former nursing school building off South Mercer Street. He said that while checking it, he found a door open to the basement.

One of the security officers found a man, later identified as Fronius, hiding in the basement, according to the paperwork. The New Castle police arrived and arrested him and he refused to tell the woman’s identity. Police reported that Fronius had a backpack that weighed about 40 pounds and contained multiple doorknobs, pieces of scrap metal and a cordless reciprocating saw.

The police reported that upon further searching of the building, they found Price hiding in a basement closet. She had a cigarette pack containing suspected crack cocaine and a glass pipe and a Chore Boy in a pocket of her hoody, the paperwork states.

Police determined that Price was wanted on a bench warrant from Butler County for retail theft-related charges, and she was detained in the Lawrence County jail by state parole.

Price and Fronius each are charged with burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary. Price is facing an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance. Both were arraigned by District Judge Melissa A. Amodie, who committed them to the jail on bonds of $10,000 each. Police said Price is to be extradited to Butler County on the warrant.

Suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty or adjudicated in a court of law.

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