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ST. MARYS — Two area residents, one from Rockton and one from St. Marys are accused of breaking into several storage sheds recently.

According to the St. Marys City Police Department, an investigation into several storage sheds being broken into began April 20. Between April 19-20, Randy Lee Burress, 42, of Rockton, and James Michael Dutka Jr., 37, of St. Marys, allegedly broke into a total of five sheds within the city of St. Marys, according to the affidavit of probable cause.

Entry into the sheds was allegedly made by using an electric lock pick and bolt cutters, according to police. Follow-up interviews led to the execution of two search warrants, one of Burress’ garage, where tools, personal paperwork of the victims, jewelry boxes and power tools reportedly were recovered.

The search of Burress’ vehicle reportedly turned up stolen items and burglary tools as well, including two bolt cutters, the electronic pick, a sewing machine, power tools, paperwork and vinyl records.

Dutka was interviewed by police and reportedly admitted to his participation in the buglaries, as well as Burress’ involvement. The stolen items are valued at an estimated $500.

Burress is charged with 10 second-degree felonies which include burglary and criminal trespass, as well as theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and possession of a crime instrument misdemeanors.

Dutka is charged with the same felonies and four theft and receiving stolen property misdemeanors.

Both men are charged with at least four felonies in a separate case after a raid at the Holiday Inn Express on Comfort Lane April 21, where police reportedly seized six ounces of methamphetamine, 65 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and one 9mm handgun, according to the affidavit.

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Burress is confined in the Elk County Jail, and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:45 p.m. on June 11 at the office of District Judge Mark Jacob. Dutka is also jailed and his hearing will follow at 2:15 p.m. that same day.

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