A pregnant Dillsburg woman burglarized her grandfather's home, then used the spare change she stole to buy heroin, according to court documents.
Northern York County Regional Police on Tuesday filed charges against Shannon Ruth Kress, 19, and her boyfriend, 22-year-old Matthew Robert Fordyce, both formerly of the first block of South Second Street.
They have not yet been arraigned on their charges of burglary,
criminal trespass, theft and receiving stolen property.
Charging documents state Kress called her grandfather, Ronald Massey, the morning of March 26 to ask if he was at work; Massey said he was.
Kress and Fordyce drove to Massey's home on South Mountain Road in Franklin Township about 10 a.m., broke in and stole three jars of spare change, police allege. Massey estimated it was about $200 in change, police said.
Kress later confessed to officers that she and Fordyce went to a Mechanicsburg bank and exchanged the coins for $200 in bills, then spent $80 of it on heroin, documents allege.
She admitted to snorting the heroin and said her boyfriend injected it, according to charging documents.
'Nothing new': Northern Regional Lt. David Lash said while it's not common for officers to encounter pregnant drug users, it's also not uncommon.
"It's nothing new to us," he said.
Kress told police she's due to give birth to her baby girl in May, and admitted to using heroin at least six times while pregnant, according to documents.
At the time of their arrests, Kress and Fordyce were still living on South Second Street, but were to have been evicted on March 31, police said.
"Kress advised neither she nor Fordyce know where they will be living after that date," documents state.
The couple also have a 1-year-old son, police said.
Kress and Fordyce could not be reached for comment.
No law: While the Pennsylvania Crimes Code has a special section for crimes such as murder and aggravated assault on an unborn child, the section does not apply to the women carrying those fetuses, according to York County District Attorney Tom Kearney.
"For whatever reason, the legislature chose to exempt the mother of the unborn child from prosecution," he said. "She's specifically exempted by the state legislature for reckless conduct involving her child."
Kearney said that means it's not technically a crime for a pregnant woman to ingest illegal drugs.
"Clearly to me, a mother who takes heroin is putting her child at risk," he said. "That's common sense."
But, Kearney added, if such a law existed it could be a slippery slope.
"At what point do you (step in)," he wondered -- when the pregnant woman smokes cigarettes or doesn't wear a seat belt?"
-- Reach Elizabeth Evans at firstname.lastname@example.org, 505-5429 or twitter.com/ydcrimetime.