Police say man raided post office in pursuit of bath salt delivery

A Tunkhannock man broke into a closed Clarks Summit post office Monday morning looking for a package of designer drugs that he thought would be there waiting for him, Clarks Summit police said.

Instead, Jason Albert Bartsch made off with a U.S. Postal Service hat and jacket, pieces of mail, a scale and a coin-operated machine after he couldn’t find the bath salts, even though a tracking of the package indicated it would be at the North State Street branch, police said.

Mr. Bartsch, 26, was charged with felony counts of burglary, theft and receiving stolen property, and a misdemeanor count of criminal trespass, after he was spotted driving erratically in a pickup truck by South Abington police on Northern Boulevard, according to the criminal complaint filed by Clarks Summit Officer Christopher Yarns.

When stopped by police, Mr. Bartsch, 17 Tree top Road, was wearing the knit Postal Service hat. in the truck bed, police found a coin-operated machine that had been attached to a photocopier, Officer Yarns said.

Police also found in the truck several opened pieces of mail and the Postal Service jacket beside him on the front seat, arrest papers said.

Mr. Bartsch allegedly told police he drove to the Clarks Summit office at 9:30 a.m. to pick up the bath salts, only to find the customer service counter was closed because of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, arrest papers said.

Bath salts and other synthetic drugs were once sold legally in Northeast Pennsylvania. since last summer, it has been illegal to do so.

Inside the lobby, which was open for customers to check post office boxes, Mr. Bartsch told police he used his shoulder to forcibly open a door to get behind the customer service counter and search for his package, Officer Yarns said. Unable to find the bath salts, he grabbed the other items and fled, arrest papers said.

Mr. Bartsch was stopped in South Abington a few hours later, arrest papers said.

Mr. Bartsch was arraigned Monday night and placed in the Lackawanna County Prison in lieu of $35,000 straight bail. A preliminary hearing is set for Monday.

Contact the writer: smcconnell@timesshamrock.com

Police say man raided post office in pursuit of bath salt delivery

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