The confidential informant who led police to the three men charged with committing various violent burglaries and robberies from 2009 to 2010 testified Wednesday, saying that the three admitted to him many of the crimes they are charged with.
The man said he met one of the defendants Maksim Illarionov, 23, of State College in 2008 or 2009 and soon met his co-defendants Dmitriy Litvinov, 25, of Bellefonte, and Anatoliy Veretnov, 28, of Bellefonte through Illarionov. The three men are charged with multiple counts of robbery, simple assault, criminal mischief, theft, receiving stolen property and conspiracy.
The informant said he would often go “free styling,” or driving wildly, around with Illarionov and soon gained his trust. The informant said Illarionov described himself as “the ninja burglar” and told him about many of the crimes he is said to have committed.
Once while driving at night, the informant and Illarionov passed a house on Haymaker Circle where Illarionov told the informant he entered the residence, expecting no one to be there, and encountered a woman. A woman testified Monday that while staying at her cousin’s house on Haymaker Circle on the night of July 12, 2008 a strange man in the home pointed gun at her in the dark and asked her for her money.
Illarionov told the informant that he and his co-defendants were the ones who robbed the Dollar General in Centre Hall, according to the informant. The informant said that at one point, Litvinov also admitted to taking part in the Dollar General robbery.
Illarionov also admitted that he and his co-defendants were the ones who robbed a Uni-Mart on Waupelani Drive.
The informant also said one night, while Illarionov was eating at his house, he thought it was curious his co-defendants weren’t with them, since they always traveled in a pack. The informant said Illarionov told him they were all “working.”
The next morning, the informant said, he picked up the newspaper to find that a man had been kidnapped, beaten and forced to give his kidnappers money out of his own bank account. The man who was kidnapped that night testified Tuesday that Litvinov and Veretnov were two of the three that kidnapped him.
The informant also said Illarionov told him they had planned to rob State Amusement but never went through with the plan.
The informant stayed close to the defendants when they began talking seriously about robbing a bank. The informant said he became nervous about this because they said they would be heavily armed.
The informant at this time went to officer Kevin Patterson of the Pennsylvania State Police to report the defendants. After he did, the bank they planned to rob increased their security and the defendants called off the plan.
Sometime after the informant went to the police, he went there again after finding a handgun of Illarionov’s one night after a party. The informant said he took the gun to the police so they could disable it in case it was planned to be used in a robbery.
The informant also identified some of the guns that were used in the robberies as being owned by the defendants.
The informant wore an audio wire at some points during the investigation, the first time being when he bought car inspection stickers suspected to have been stolen by the defendants. The recording from the wire revealed that Illarionov did in fact sell the informant the inspection stickers, which the informant gave to police as evidence.