Nazareth Man Tied to Vehicle Break-in Spree Arrested

Ian Shoemaker, 29, was apprehended three weeks after Nazareth police issued a warrant for his arrest; he is tied to vehicle break-ins that also involve a Nazareth mom and two teenage boys.

Police arrested a Nazareth man over the weekend, more than three weeks after court records said he is facing 410 criminal counts related to a vehicle break-in spree based in Nazareth.

Ian Scott Shoemaker, 29, of the unit block of N. Main St., was taken into custody in Plainfield Township after claiming to be a Nebraska resident planning to take a bus back home the next day.

The break-in spree, according to the records, also involved Christine Petchonka, 46, also of Nazareth, who is accused of driving her 16-year-old son and his friend, also 16, as they broke into unlocked vehicles. Shoemaker also was in the car during the spree, the records say.

At the time of Petchonka’s arrest, Nazareth Police Chief Thomas Trachta estimated that $20,000 in goods were stolen over several months. A criminal complaint accompanying information on the 410 counts against Shoemaker said police found items in a Lower Nazareth Township storage locker valued at more than $10,000.

The items include a variety of electronic devices such as GPS systems, as well as cameras, cell phones, jewelry, cash and knives.

A criminal complaint for Shoemaker’s arrest said he was a passenger in a vehicle that Plainfield police stopped around 4:20 p.m. on George Street near the Plainfield/Pen Argyl line. Shoemaker identified himself as Eric Scott Miller of Nebraska. He said he had no identification because he lost his driver’s license the day before in a park.

He said his date of birth is Sept. 20, 1982, but police could not find a match in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) data base. So they took him to state police Belfast barracks and fingerprinted him.

They then discovered that Eric Miller was really Ian Shoemaker, his date of birth is May 20, 1983 and he was wanted on an outstanding warrant from Nazareth.

Shoemaker was arraigned Saturday night on false identification to law enforcement officers.

He also was arraigned Saturday night on the 410 counts related to the car break-ins. The counts include theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, criminal conspiracy related to theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property, theft from a motor vehicle and loitering and prowling at nighttime.

The complaint for the 410 counts said Nazareth police captured on camera two males breaking into vehicles. Police interviewed one of the males, who identified the second male as Shoemaker.

The complaint also says the locker used to store the stolen goods was at 173 Nazareth Pike and was rented by Petchonka, who “granted access” to Shoemaker.

Shoemaker’s arraignments were conducted by on-duty District Judge Todd Strohe of Bangor. Shoemaker was committed to Northampton County Prison after failing to post $5,000 bail for the traffic stop arrest and $40,000 for the 410 counts.


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