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Wellsville man arrested after allegedly breaking into beer distributor, stealing beer, setting fire

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ROSSVILLE, York County — A 31-year-old Wellsville man is accused of breaking into a beer distributor, stealing beer and other items and setting a fire inside the store, according to a State Police criminal complaint.

Eben Edward Saar, of the 2700 block of Rosstown Road, is charged with arson, burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief and resisting arrest in connection to the incident, which happened at approximately 1:55 a.m. on August 25.

According to police, officers responded to the Rossville Beer Distributor on the 7400 block of Carlisle Road for the report of a burglary in progress. A witness told police he saw a man walking in and out of the distributor while carrying several items. The suspect, later identified as Saar, allegedly offered lottery tickets to the witness, which the witness declined. The witness also told police that when he arrived on the scene, the corner of the store was on fire.

According to the witness, Saar made several trips in and out of the store, removing several items. He then allegedly put out the fire and sat down, waiting for police to arrive.

Police say Saar was found sitting on the northwest side of the store. Saar allegedly admitted he was the person who broke into the store. Police told Saar to lie on the ground, but he was allegedly not compliant. Saar allegedly reached for his right pants pocket, at which time police subdued him and placed him in custody.

Officers searched the area near the store and discovered several food items, lottery tickets, propane tanks, lighters, cigarettes, and beer lying outside the store. The total value of the items was estimated at $1,051.70. Police say the store’s front door was forced open, a window was broken, and several registers inside the store were damaged. Police also saw a lottery sign that had been destroyed by fire, and a support beam for the roof was still burning at its base.

Damage to the store was estimated at $1,000, police say.

Saar allegedly told police he had been fighting with his girlfriend, and wanted to go for a walk to get beer. When he arrived at the distributor and saw it was closed, Saar allegedly used a board to break the front window and gain entry to the store. He allegedly told police he retrieved a 12-pack of beer and kicked open the front door, then later removed the other items and set the fire.

Saar was transferred to York Central Booking for processing and arraignment.