Erie man charged with two attempted burglaries at west side homes

Erie police said surveillance video and tips from the public helped investigators identify a city man accused of trying to break into two Erie residences in the early morning hours of June 11.

Investigators are now trying to determine if the man could be connected to other similar crimes as detectives investigate a recent string of robberies that have occurred throughout Erie.

Walter J. Hatcher, 55, was jailed Tuesday night on $50,000 bail after being arraigned on two first-degree felonies, including burglary. Police accuse him of attempting to break into residences in the 300 block of Marsh Street and the 3300 block of Cherry Street within a span of about 20 minutes early on June 11, and taking unknown items from a shed at one of the residences, according to information in his criminal complaint.

The victims in both cases were women, and both were apparently asleep at the time of the robbery attempts, investigators wrote in the complaint.

According to police, surveillance video at the Marsh Street residence showed a suspect attempting to enter the residence through a window but fleeing after failing to gain entry. Video at the Cherry Street residence showed a suspect opening a screen window but failing to gain entry, then walking to a shed and then exiting with a trash bag containing unknown items, investigators wrote in the complaint.

Erie police posted an image of the suspect taken from surveillance video on the department’s Facebook page and asked for help identifying the suspect. Tips from the public helped identify Hatcher, an investigator said Wednesday.

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Erie police arrested Hatcher on the city’s west side Tuesday afternoon, according to city police arrest records.

There was no attorney listed on Hatcher’s criminal record.

Erie police continue to investigate a recent rash of burglaries across the city. In several of the incidents, homes were broken into through windows and items such as electronics and jewelry were taken, Lt. Earl Matson, who heads the Erie Police Bureau’s Burglary Unit, said Wednesday.

Contact Tim Hahn at [email protected]. Follow him on X @ETNhahn.