Crime

Police arrest 3 after menorah at Penn State fraternity was vandalized, stolen

The menorah in front of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Penn State was vandalized and stolen earlier this month.
The menorah in front of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity at Penn State was vandalized and stolen earlier this month. Centre Daily Times, file

Five men who were either Theta Delta Chi brothers or staying at the fraternity admitted to stealing and vandalizing Zeta Beta Tau’s menorah, according to State College police.

The menorah was stolen from outside of the fraternity house at 328 E. Fairmount Ave. on Dec. 2 and one Zeta Beta Tau brother who attempted to stop the alleged theft was punched in the face, according to police.

The $1,800 menorah was returned after the Theta Delta Chi president saw the theft, became angry and told them to return it. A Zeta Beta Tau window, basketball hoop and grill was also damaged, police said.

David Kovacs, 20; of Blue Bell; Thomas Callahan, 19, of State College; and John Hamlin IV, 19, of Nashville, Tenn., were each charged with three misdemeanors — theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief.

Police said Theta Delta Chi “has taken internal actions against their members as well.”

Kovacs, Callahan and Hamlin each have a preliminary hearing scheduled for Jan. 16.

The Zeta Beta Tau brother who was assaulted declined to press charges, according to police, and two others listed as co-defendants have not yet been charged. Each is a Penn State student, except Hamlin.

Additional charges are still pending from a prior Nov. 29 incident involving the same menorah, but a third fraternity.

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Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.
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