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Criminal Justice

Accused Slate Belt burglar netted guns, military medals in spree, police say

Ryan Gaylor
Slate Belt Regional Police Chief Jonathon Hoadley speaks at a press conference Tuesday.

EASTON, Pa. – Northampton County’s district attorney announced charges Tuesday in connection with a string of robberies in Pen Argyl.

County prosecutors charged Shane Richard Lake, 31, with 77 offenses in all — including eight counts of burglary, 28 counts of theft, and 24 counts of receiving stolen property.

Police say Lake, who lived in the first block of West Main Street in Pen Argyl at the time of his arrest, burglarized seven homes and one commercial building in the borough between late November 2023 and early January.

Seven of the eight burglary charges involve breaking into a residence, according to court records, making them serious first-degree felonies.

In one instance, investigators say, someone was home during commission of the burglary, which would lengthen Lake’s recommended sentence if he is convicted.

"We believe for all intents and purposes… these crimes have been solved.”
Northampton County District Attorney Stephen Baratta

“Mr. Lake, based on our investigation, was the only individual who committed the burglaries,” District Attorney Stephen Baratta said during a news conference at the Northampton County Government Center. “So we believe for all intents and purposes… these crimes have been solved.”

“It has been traumatic for the community,” said Slate Belt Regional Police Chief Jonathon Hoadley. “I want to thank the victims and the residents of Pen Argyl for their faith in the department, for their patience and understanding.”

According to court documents, Lake is charged with taking 20 firearms along with jewelry, swords, knives, artwork, military medals, mail and other items worth somewhere between $2,000 and $100,000 in all.

Some of the firearms, Baratta said, were high-value collectors’ items. Of the 20 stolen guns, only five have been recovered so far.

Lake has been held in the Lehigh County Jail since January, when he was arrested by Macungie police on separate charges including burglary and theft.

“So there was no hurry with regard to getting him off the street. We've known since January 27 that he was our target, and the last several months we’ve been diligently putting this case together piece by piece,” Baratta said.

Authorities are still searching for the missing guns, and expect to bring charges against “others who may have benefited by possessing stolen property,” he said.

Lake is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.