Burglary results in charges for Ridgway man

Staff Writer

A Ridgway man is facing charges following a burglary that took place over the weekend.
According to an affidavit of probable cause filed at the office of Magisterial District Judge James L. Martin of Johnsonburg on Tuesday, Michael Anthony Asti, 26, of 11 East Cardott Street, Ridgway, is facing numerous charges following a burglary that took place at 219 Spruce Street.
At approximately 7:17 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9, Charles Caggiano reported to the Ridgway Borough Police Department that his residence had been burglarized while he was out of town. Caggiano reported numerous electronic items were missing, including an unknown brand of gaming laptop, two iPhones, one cooling fan, numerous video games, one Gameboy (original), one Nintendo brand GameCube, a Nintendo DS, one Amazon Fire phone, an iPad-brand Air, a white in color clothes hamper, iPhone headphones, a Retron 5, numerous Nintendo and PSP games and a Pokemon Ultra Moon.
Caggiano also reported finding a black in color bicycle laying in his backyard along with a red in color push lawnmower. Caggiano stated that the bicycle and lawnmower did not belong to him and both were retrieved by police.
At approximately 8:17 p.m. that evening, police interviewed Mercedes Mercer, who was in charge of feeding the animals at 219 Spruce Street while Caggiano was out of town. Mercer stated that she was at the residence on Sept. 9 at approximately midnight and did not view anything suspicious. When she returned to the residence later that morning at approximately 11 a.m., she viewed a PlayStation gaming device, which was previously located on a television stand in the living room area, now located on the floor in the living room. Mercer also stated that she found the back door to be locked but not closed.
At approximately 8:50 p.m., police reinterviewed Caggiano. While discussing people who have been in his residence, the name Michael Asti was brought into the interview. Caggiano stated that Asti had been in his residence on more than several occasions, and that Asti considers Caggiano a friend.
The following day at approximately 1:09 p.m., Richard Bullers of 24 Elk Avenue reported that a red in color Briggs and Stratton lawnmower, which was chained to a platform at his residence, was stolen. The lawnmower was provided to Bullers by his landlord, Steven Kunes.
At 5:19 p.m. on Sept. 10, officers interviewed Victoria Asti, who stated that on Sept. 9 at approximately 3 a.m., Michael Asti was found wandering around in her backyard at 20 Elk Avenue, which he confirmed. Victoria Asti stated that at approximately 3:20 a.m., Michael Asti was pounding on her front door, and when she answered the door she viewed Michael Asti to be in possession of a black bicycle, which he stated he found up the street. Victoria Asti stated that she ordered him to leave her residence, which he did, pushing the bicycle south on Elk Avenue.
At approximately 5:25 p.m., Victoria Asti identified the black bicycle recovered from 219 Spruce Street as being the bike that Michael Asti had in his possession on Sept. 9 at approximately 3:20 a.m.
At 6:41 p.m. on Sept. 10, Bullers identified the Briggs and Stratton lawnmower recovered at 219 Spruce Street as being the lawnmower taken from his residence.
Officers received a search warrant for 11 East Cardott Street, the residence of Sandra Asti, with whom Michael Asti lives. The search warrant was executed at 9:40 p.m. on Sept. 10, and many of the items listed as missing from Caggiano’s residence were recovered at that location.
At approximately 11:30 p.m., Caggiano identified all items seized as having been taken from his residence. Additionally, Caggiano identified a burlap belt pouch, original Xbox controller, Xbox 360 AV cable, Xbox 360 console, Xbox 360 controller, Xbox 360 power supply, Super Nintendo controller, Yu-gi-oh playmat, Yu-gi-oh trading card box with assorted trading cards, video camera pouch, smart mass putty, Nintendo GameBoy, two Super Nintendo games, a Nintendo 64 game, 20 Gameboy games, three Nintendo DS games, a Retron 5 power source and a Retron 5 controller cable as belonging to him.
At 10:53 p.m., Michael Asti was Mirandized and then interviewed. He agreed to a recorded interview and reportedly admitted to knowing that Caggiano was not home, so he entered his residence through the back door and placed numerous items into Caggiano’s laundry basket before carrying the basket back to his residence at 11 East Cardott Street.
Preliminary arraignment for Asti was held at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday before Judge Martin.
Asti is facing a first-degree felony charge of burglary – overnight accommodation, no person present; a third-degree felony charge of criminal trespass – enter structure; two third-degree felony charges of theft by unlawful taking-movable property; a third-degree felony charge of receiving stolen property; four ungraded misdemeanor charges of use/possession of drug paraphernalia; and a third-degree misdemeanor charge of loitering and prowling at night time.
Bail was set at $25,000 monetary.
Unable to post bail, Asti was incarcerated at Elk County Prison.
A preliminary hearing for Asti is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Sept. 19 before Judge Martin.