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Police: Man throws brick into fire station, damages buildings in Mahanoy City

A Schuylkill County man is behind bars tonight after a five-day crime spree in one community. It may have been his unmistakable look that helped lead to his arrest.

MAHANOY CITY, Pa. — Mahanoy City Police responded to Citizens Fire Company No. 2 on West Centre Street Monday afternoon for a report of a man throwing a brick into one of the station's front windows. 

Teddy Yates has a good vantage point from his balcony across the street. 

"We looked, and it was that middle window," Yates said. "That's where the ambulance bay is."

Police said Thomas Heiser, 41, of Mahanoy City, was the man behind it. A witness also reported Heiser damaging a light post at The Molly Maguire Historical Park next to the fire station. 

Yates recognized the man.

"We call him 'The 70s' because that's what he looks like. Big bushy hairdo, big bushy beard," Yates said. "You see him; you will never forget him."

When an EMT from the station saw the broken glass and tried to track down the suspect, police said Heiser pulled out a large knife and charged the EMT's vehicle before running off. 

Heiser was later arrested at his home, bringing an end to an alleged crime spree. Police said in a period of five days, they received seven calls about Heiser damaging businesses or making threats. 

"He just did the senior center, and we found out today when they put this up that he did another one down here," Yates said.

Heiser faces terroristic threats, vandalism, and assault charges, among others. There's no word on any potential motive.

"Why?" Yates asked. "Don't know."

Yates said it hurts to see this destruction in his hometown. 

"We see these guys, we've got friends here, and it's heartbreaking really," Yates said.

Heiser is in Schuylkill County prison on a $75,000 bail.

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