On April 7th 2018, at approximately 10 AM, Hazleton City Police responded to the 600 block of East Broad Street on a report of a stolen 2011 Hyundai, Elantra. Officers responded to the location and interviewed the victim.
Hazleton Units were alerted that the vehicle was currently traveling south from 15th Street towards Diamond Avenue.
Hazleton Police Officers immediately responded to the area and identified the stolen vehicle traveling East on 4th Street from Boundary Street. Various Hazleton Police Officers positioned themselves in attempt to initiate a felony traffic stop.
According to police, when they attempted to stop the vehicle, the operator Mark Joseph Schlauch, 28 of Zion Grove Pa, began to flee in the stolen vehicle.
Police say officers pursued the vehicle until Schlauch lost control of the vehicle along 4th Street in the area of Branch Court when he jumped out of the vehicle and fled on foot with Hazleton Police Officers in fresh pursuit.
Schlauch was located in the area of McKinley Street and he refused to comply with the pursuing Officers verbal commands and fought with them. Schlauch was taken into custody following a brief physical altercation.
Subsequent investigation revealed Schlauch pawned multiple items from the vehicle at a local pawn shop in the City prior to the vehicle stop. The Officers recovered all the items and the vehicle was returned to the owner.
Charges were filed against Schlauch for Felony Theft, Felony Receiving Stolen Property, Misdemeanor Fleeing and Eluding, Misdemeanor Theft, Misdemeanor Receiving Stolen Property, Misdemeanor Resisting Arrest and Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.
Schlauch was transported to the Hazleton Police Headquarters were he was processed on all charges. It was also discovered that Schlauch had an outstanding Felony warrant for his arrest on Burglary charges that were completed by PSP Frackville.
Schlauch was transported to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility were he will await a preliminary hearing on the charges.
Chief Speziale on the arrest:
“The coordination by the officers ended a dangerous situation quickly and apprehended a fugitive from our streets.”