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2 more charged in Rostraver home invasion |

2 more charged in Rostraver home invasion

Branddon Danilchak pleaded guilty on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, for a role in a Rostraver home invasion on Oct. 21, 2014.
Gregory Howard was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison Thursday for his role in Rostraver home invasion on Oct. 21.

Two more men have been charged in a violent Oct. 21 home invasion in Rostraver’s Collinsburg section.

Rostraver Township police have charged four people in the home invasion and robbery of Frances “Fannie” Tekavec, 91.

Branddon Danilchak, 27, of 500 McKean Ave., Apt. 2, Donora, and Gregory David Howard, of 331 Third St., Apt. 415, Monessen, were each charged with robbery, criminal conspiracy, unlawful restraint, aggravated assault, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and simple assault.

Lamont “Tego” Dixon, 35, of Donora was charged in the case Wednesday and faces similar charges.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, video surveillance from Valley Manor in Monessen the day of the incident shows Dixon leaving the housing complex about 5:30 a.m. with Howard and Danilchak.

A Valley Manor employee reportedly told police Howard and Danilchak live there.

The surveillance video purportedly shows the men returning in a white car at 7:16 a.m. Howard was carrying a white bag, according to the complaint.

In the wake of the incident, Rostraver police searched for a white Chevrolet Malibu registered to Dixon’s girlfriend, Bobbi Drdul, 20, of 710 Crest Ave., Apt. 124, Charleroi.

She was charged Oct. 23 after police found money and jewelry from the robbery in her possession.

On the morning of the robbery, Danilchak allegedly approached Tekavec’s door and asked her to sign a receipt for furniture delivered to her home just before he arrived.

When she opened the door, Dixon and Danilchak, faces covered, forced their way inside.

Police said Tekavec suffered a fractured vertebra after she was shoved against her refrigerator and to the floor. She underwent surgery at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Dixon allegedly threatened Tekavec with a knife as Howard and Danilchak searched the residence, police said.

Demanding money, the assailants threatened to kill Tekavec’s dog, police said.

Before the three left, Tekavec’s hands and feet allegedly were tied and she was left on her bed, according to court documents.

After about 20 minutes, she managed to free herself and call police.

The alleged assailants made off with $20,000 in jewelry and golden coins and $928 in cash, according to Rostraver police Officer Michael J. Sethman.

Back at Howard’s apartment, the assailants split the stolen items, according to the complaint.

Police received a break in the case because the men left a key piece of evidence at Tekavec’s residence: a payroll time sheet from a furniture company that listed Drdul’s name and employee identification number, according to court documents.

Drdul waived her right to a preliminary hearing Monday before Magisterial District Judge Charles Christner on charges of hindering apprehension/prosecution and receiving stolen property.

She remained in the Westmoreland County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bond.

On Oct. 30, Sethman questioned Bridget Ross of Monessen.

Ross said she overheard Dixon tell her boyfriend, Eugene Davis, that Dixon, Howard and Danilchak “robbed an elderly lady for several thousand dollars,” a police report states.

Jessica Rose – described as Dixon’s friend – allegedly told Sethman that Dixon claimed he was going to rob an elderly lady. The next day, Dixon told Rose he had committed the crime and “almost killed her,” according to the complaint.

Danilchak and Howard were arraigned by Christner Thursday evening.

They were placed in Westmoreland County Prison in Hempfield, each in lieu of $1 million bond. The alleged assailants face preliminary hearings before Christner 9 a.m. Nov. 24.

Jeremy Sellew is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or 724-684-2667.

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