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2 men face shoplifting charges

By Staff | Jun 22, 2010

PENNSDALE – A South Williamsport man who already has been convicted twice of shoplifting is accused of allegedly stealing more than $3,000 worth of merchandise from Target during a four-week period before he was apprehended, according to Muncy Township Police Chief Christopher McKibben.

The theft spree for Michael Allen Rook ended June 3 inside a stall in the store’s men’s restroom where officers caught him removing two digital camcorders from their packaging, McKibben said.

Rook, 27, of 1010 W. Southern Ave. allegedly stole numerous MP3 players and video cameras on at least six occasions between May 4 and when he was apprehended, McKibben said Wednesday.

Rook had been caught before on store video allegedly stealing merchandise, but each time he managed to elude capture, McKibben said. Store personnel called police immediately on June 3 when he was seen entering the business, located at Lycoming Crossing.

McKibben said Rook would take merchandise into the bathroom, remove it from its packaging and then conceal the item in his clothing.

Rook entered the store with Matthew David Bausinger, 21, of 3092 Route 220, Hughesville, who allegedly stole $149 worth of merchandise on his own from Target on June 1, McKibben said. Bausinger has been charged with one summary count of shoplifting.

In separate complaint filed by Montoursville police, investigators allege Rook stole an $898 monitor from Walmart, 1015 N. Loyalsock Ave., on May 31.

On the day Rook was caught, he automatically was committed to the Lycoming County Prison on a bench warrant. McKibben has charged Rook with seven counts each of felony shoplifting, receiving stolen property and possession of instrument of crime. He also has been charged with one count of illegal possession of a firearm for having a pellet gun. He has been jailed on those charges in lieu of $35,000 bail.

Montoursville police have charged Rook with felony shoplifting. He has been incarcerated in lieu of an additional $5,000 bail.