Police: Three took cars like 'Grand Theft Auto'
The popular video game series "Grand Theft Auto" allegedly had quite an impact on three Red Lion men accused of stealing various vehicles for "joyrides" in Red Lion between late 2015 and early 2016.
State police allege Shane Michael Heikes, Ryan Wayne Graffious and David Eugene Keener, all 19, took things from 13 vehicles and took seven of the vehicles on joyrides, an act the trio allegedly called "car-hopping."
A fourth individual, a juvenile, allegedly accompanied the three. Documents do not state if the younger teenager was charged.
Keener, of 1730 Eberts Lane, York Township; Heikes, of 34 W. Broadway, Red Lion; and Graffious, of 220 West Ave., York Township, are charged with 13 counts of theft from a motor vehicle, seven counts of theft by unlawful taking, two counts of criminal mischief and one count each of corruption of minors and driving without a license, according to charging documents.
Police say the three got the idea from "Mexican cartels on TV" and compared their crimes to the popular video game series "Grand Theft Auto."
The seven vehicles taken on joyrides had the keys left inside the vehicle, police say.
Thefts: Police say the thefts occurred between Nov. 19, 2015, and March 6, and the monetary loss because of the thefts and damage to the vehicles was more than $3,000.
In February, state police conducted a uniformed saturation patrol and undercover patrol operations throughout Red Lion. Police allege Graffious and Heikes were passengers in a vehicle during a traffic stop, and the two of them had conflicting stories regarding why they had flashlights.
The vehicles they allegedly had taken items from had latent prints lifted off them, and the prints matched Heikes and Graffious, police said.
In May, police interviewed Heikes. Police say Heikes said they "car-hopped," which meant taking things from unlocked cars. He allegedly told them they didn't think they would get caught. Heikes told police if they found keys in the car, they would usually drive it, police said.
"There were so many cars we took. ... We at least took probably over 20 cars," Heikes said, according to documents.
Police interviewed Graffious in May, who confirmed the "car-hopping," saying he had not done it in a while, and that he did it for fun because he was bored in Red Lion, according to documents. Police say he said Keener accompanied them during the thefts.
In an interview with Keener, he confirmed the "car-hopping" as well, documents allege. He said they would go for three to four cars a night, then wait a few nights before doing it again, police said. He said they would take the cars for a joyride if the keys were inside and then return them, documents state.
According to a release from state police, the trio compared their crimes to the video game "Grand Theft Auto."
During the three interviews, police say, the three teens admitted to taking and selling the things they took from the vehicles.
Heikes and Graffious remain in York County Prison in lieu of $50,000 bail, and Keener remains in York County Prison in lieu of $15,000 bail.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at email@example.com or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.