Williamsport, Pa. – It was Christmas in prison for a Williamsport man accused of robbing two area businesses at gunpoint.
On the grounds that he is a "danger to society," Jesse D. Giddings, 32, of Williamsport, was denied bail by Lycoming County Magisterial District Judge William C. Solomon on Dec. 21.
Giddings, charged with six felonies related to the incidents, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing before District Judge Aaron S. Biichle on Dec. 31.
According to Williamsport Bureau of Police Agent Laura N. Kitko, Giddings displayed a handgun and demanded money from employees at Boost Mobile and Family Dollar stores in the City of Williamsport last month.
Giddings, currently on state parole, is a person not to possess firearms due to a 2007 conviction for robbery, according to Kitko.
GPS location data from Giddings' ankle monitor places him at the scenes of both robberies at the time they occurred, Kitko alleged.
Police were called to Boost Mobile, 620 Hepburn Street, around 6:55 p.m. on Nov. 12 for the report of an armed robbery.
The employee told police that the suspect entered the store and started asking about the prices of cell phones.
"When the employee walked back to the register to check on pricing on the phones, the suspect displayed a handgun, described as a semi-automatic handgun with a silver slide and black frame, and asked about the money in the cash register," Kitko wrote in a Dec. 18 criminal complaint.
The suspect told the employee to lay on the ground and then removed $587 from the register, Kitko said.
"The employee went to the stock room and the suspect followed, placing 14 iPhones valued at $6,679.84 into a black Boost Mobile tote bag before telling the employee to lay on the ground again and not move for 20 minutes," Kitko wrote.
On Nov. 16, a similar incident occurred around 8:10 p.m. at the Family Dollar store, 1221 West 4th Street, Williamsport.
The suspect displayed a handgun and demanded money from the cash register, according to Kitko.
When advised by the employee that the cash register wouldn't open without a transaction, the suspect "demanded cartons of cigarettes be rung up in order to open the register," Kitko wrote.
The employee rung up four cartons of Newport cigarettes and placed $220 from the register into a grocery bag, according to the complaint. The suspect then reportedly told the employee to lay on the ground and exited the store.
Police said they zeroed in on Giddings after several stolen cell phones were turned in to kiosks. Surveillance from those kiosks showed Giddings' associates, one of whom now face charges, too, according to police:
Ahbree Guthrie, 20, of Williamsport, is charged with two felony counts each of receiving stolen property and firearms not to be carried without a license. Guthrie is accused of turning in the phones that Giddings allegedly stole.
Giddings was charged with one felony count each of robbery, aggravated assault, theft by unlawful taking, firearms not to be carried without a license, persons not to possess firearms, receiving stolen property. He also was charged with one misdemeanor count each of reckless endangerment and possessing instruments of a crime.