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Police: 2 teens who burglarized York State Fair being charged as juveniles

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

The two people who police said broke into the York Fairgrounds and vandalized the grandstand there are underage and will be charged as juveniles, West Manchester Township Police said.

Because the alleged vandals aren't being charged as adults, their names aren't being released and their charging documents aren't public under state law.

West Manchester Township Police Chief John Snyder on Monday told The York Dispatch that both of the people identified by investigators as having committed the burglary and criminal mischief will be charged as juveniles.

Officers were called to the York Expo Center on Thursday after it was discovered the two teens had broken into the grandstand, forced their way into several offices and damaged doors and doorknobs in the process, police said.

They smashed a glass display case at Mister Ed's Candy Emporium and forced their way inside the York Professional Fire Fighters Association's stand, according to police.

The association is the union that represents York City firefighters, and it sells chopped steak sandwiches and hot dogs annually during the York State Fair to raise money for the union, some of which is donated back to the community, according to York City Fire Capt. Bill Sleeger Jr.

Two suspects were caught on video surveillance for an alleged burglary and vandalism at the York Fairgrounds. West Manchester Police are asking for help identifying them.

Cut lock, broke door: The vandals cut the lock on the association's booth and broke the door to get in, he said, then used spray paint to vandalize a portion of the stand.

"I think they thought the way it was locked up, there might be more in there," Sleeger said, but there wasn't.

Mr. Ed's Candy Emporium stand at the fairgrounds — which is part of Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium outside Gettysburg, Adams County — sustained very little damage by the vandals, according to Isaac Bucher, who co-owns the business with wife Nicole Bucher.

"Fortunately for us, the only thing that was damaged was a single pane of glass in our (fudge) display case ... basically a sneeze guard," he said. "We're very fortunate."

Nicole Bucher is the granddaughter of Ed Gotwalt, the "Mr. Ed" of the business, and she and her husband bought the business from him six years ago, Isaac Bucher said. Gotwalt, 84, still pops in to visit and grab a few pieces of candy, according to Bucher.

Two suspects were caught on video surveillance for an alleged burglary and vandalism at the York Fairgrounds. West Manchester Police are asking for help identifying them.

The teens used spray paint and spray foam to vandalize several booths in the grandstand, according to police, and they also damaged a small ATM machine..

Stage vandalism: The vandals spray-painted a motorized lift machine on the stage as well as a movie projector screen that hangs from the stage roof, police said.

Vandals broke open padlocks on two trailers parked behind the stage and stole property from inside, according to police.

York Fair in West Manchester Township, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. Dawn J. Sagert photo

An employee spotted the pair climbing over the fair's security fence about 6 p.m. Wednesday, police said. They ran from Highland Avenue and turned onto Hope Alley.

They were caught on security video, and they were identified after police released video stills of them to the public.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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