Federal, state and local law enforcement officers have called off their search for an accused felon in the Mount Penn and east Reading areas of Berks County.
They spent several hours Wednesday searching for Stephen Kulcyski Jr., a Reading man wanted on multiple felony warrants, according to Trooper David Beohm, Pennsylvania State Police.
As of 3:40 p.m., authorities were searching an abandoned house at an undisclosed location within their perimeter, according to Berks County Sheriff Eric Weaknecht. Once that location was cleared, Weaknecht said the decision was made to call off the search, with Kulcyski still at large.
Kulcyski, Weaknecht said, should be considered armed and dangerous.
The manhunt was triggered by an officer's sighting of Kulcyski in the area of the Arner's restaurant on Howard Boulevard in Mount Penn. He was wearing an orange shirt and khaki shorts, Beohm said. He is described as a heavyset white man with gray hair and gray beard.
"I heard a loud voice up in the woods and I stopped and was looking because it's unusual because it's so steep," said Sheila Kline, who believes she heard Kulcyski.
Sheriff's deputies and officers from Central Berks and surrounding police departments set up a perimeter in the woods behind the Arner's, along Friedensburg Road in Mount Penn and Lower Alsace Township, and in the area of the Castlewood development off Glen Road. They used police dogs and a helicopter in their search.
"It's a little crazy seeing so many people out and about today," said Chris Mayer, who lives in Mount Penn.
"It's just unusual, I've lived here for 30 years and we never had issues of safety or anything," said Deany Cameron, who was surprised to see the heavy police presence.
Kulcyski has been on the run since Monday when he led police in Schuylkill County on a chase in a stolen truck. It all started when police said a woman called them, saying she was being stalked by her ex-boyfriend.
Officers located and attempted to stop Kulcyski in the truck, but he sped off, barreling through a cemetery fence in New Philadelphia before jumping out and running into the woods.
After a nearly six-hour search came up empty Wednesday, some residents were left uneasy.
"We live right against the mountain and if this person is still loose up in the mountain, they could come right down into our yard," said Tom Smith.