DNA evidence from a welding glove left at the scene of a 2020 burglary in Delmont led to the arrest of a Washington Township man on Monday.
Jesse T. Noble, 26, of Murrysville, was charged with burglary, receiving stolen property, criminal trespass, criminal mischief and possession of instruments of crime, in connection with a December 2020 burglary at Fletcher’s Outdoor Equipment on Route 66.
On Dec. 4, 2020, Delmont police responded to a burglar alarm at Fletcher’s and arrived to find a door at the back of the building with a smoking hole in it that appeared to have been made by some kind of welding torch.
Officers followed boot prints from Fletcher’s to the woods behind the building, where they found a generator, saw and two chainsaws taken from the business. They also found a welding torch and black welding gloves, and were able to confirm the use of a torch through security video from Fletcher’s. A Westmoreland County K-9 helped officers track the boot prints across Route 66 back to a home on the 300 block of Freeport Street, where it appeared the suspect had gotten into a vehicle and left.
During the investigation, they received a call from nearby Washington Township police, who had just arrested a suspect — Noble — matching the description of the man who’d broken into Fletcher’s. Delmont police went to Noble’s house on Spring Hill Road in Washington, where officers saw several torch welding cables in plain view next to the house, along with boot prints similar in design and tread to those at the scene of the burglary.
A search warrant for Noble’s home turned up boots and clothing matching the suspect in the security footage, and officers also seized a set of welding cables. Additional security footage from a nearby church in Delmont, as well as footage provided by Northern Regional Police Department that appeared to show Noble’s vehicle on license plate recognition readers in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties both before and after the break-in at Fletcher’s, and showed several identifying features like a cargo carrier, a missing cover on the right rear wheel and silver plastic molding on the back.
Finally, DNA testing matched Noble’s DNA to a sample found inside the left-hand welding glove recovered from Fletcher’s.
Delmont Police Chief T.J. Klobucar said he appreciated the patience Fletcher’s had as the case progressed.
“Sometimes it takes time and investigation, gathering evidence so we can make a solid arrest like this,” Klobucar said.
Noble was arraigned Monday and faces an April 5 preliminary hearing in District Judge Charles Conway’s Export court.
Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .