Inmates housed in Sharon continue causing problems for community

SHARON, Pa. (WYTV) – Since late November, there have been four incident reports filed — including two arrests — all dealing with people who aren’t from Sharon, yet are living in the city.

Three of those incidents and one of the arrests happened within the last 18 days.

They are inmates living in a Department of Corrections halfway house on W. State Street that continues to cause headaches for city leaders and business owners.

Micahel Lisac owns Warehouse Sales just a block away on Silver Street. He can see the halfway house from his business’ back lot.

Police responded to suspicious activity behind the building Saturday morning.

Surveillance video shows a man squatting down to pick something up from under the dumpster. Moments later, the man blows smoke.

He told police it was sage for a religious ceremony, but police think it’s synthetic marijuana.

“Some of them are there for something minor, doing their time and going home, which is fine,” Lisac said. “Others, we have to watch.”

Warehouse Sales is no stranger to people committing crimes inside the store. In the fall, police arrested Michael Gadd for stealing and huffing a compressed air can.

Earlier this month, police found Jacob Barr passed out from inhaling aerosol inside a McDonald’s restroom. He was charged with public drunkenness.

Just yesterday, Police Chief Gerry Smith watched two men from the corrections facility bury an open pack of cigarettes, plastic bags, and a syringe. He said they aren’t monitored enough.

“The problem is these people are only in there a certain amount of time during the day. They have a curfew. When they return, they’re monitored, but when they’re out in the community, no one is following them around. They don’t have a chaperone.”

The police department is already busy — it responded to 28,000 calls last year. Smith said it’s discouraging to have to deal with crimes committed by people who aren’t even from Sharon.

“It’s frustrating for me to have to take a guy from one focused detail, one focused assignment, and deal with something he really shouldn’t have to deal with.”

Sharon’s city manager said they will continue to try working with the United Way, which owns the building, to look for an alternative use for the halfway house.