OILCREEK TOWNSHIP, Venango County — A pair of Titusville residents are facing burglary, drugs and illegal firearms charges after they were found allegedly at a campsite with a reportedly stolen truck.

According to Franklin-based State Police, Kessley Nicholas Winans, 32, and Ronette Frances Nichols, 27, were arrested Friday morning at a camp located along Titusville Road. Police were contacted after the owners of the farm saw an unfamiliar Ford Ranger truck parked behind his campsite at around 7 a.m.

Police arrived and reportedly located Winans and Nichols in the upper loft of the camp building. A search was conducted of the two, which yielded illegal narcotics and two allegedly stolen firearms, according to police. Officers also discovered that the truck was reported stolen on Thursday.

Police said that Winans and Nichols are both convicted felons, which should have prevented them from owning firearms.

Charges were filed through the office of Magisterial District Judge Matthew Kirtland, of Franklin. Nichols is facing one count of burglary — over night accommodation, no person present, a felony 1 offense with a maximum possible sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000; one count of receiving stolen property, also a felony 1; one count of criminal trespass — enter structure, a felony 3 charge with a maximum possible sentence of seven years imprisonment and a fine of $15,000; one count of possession of a controlled substance, a misdemeanor with a grading not given; and one count of use/possession of drug paraphernalia, also a misdemeanor with a grading not given.

Winans is facing one count of burglary — overnight accommodation, no person present; one count of possession of firearm prohibited, another felony 1 charge; one count of theft by unlawful taking — movable property, a felony 2 charge with a maximum possible sentence of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $25,000; one count of receiving stolen property at a felony 2 grading; one count of criminal trespass — enter structure; one count of use/possession of drug paraphernalia; and one count of driving while operator’s privileges are suspended or revoked, a summary offense with a maximum possible sentence of 90 days imprisonment and a fine of $300.

Nichols and Winans are currently confined to the Venango County Prison after being unable to pay bail of $30,000 unsecured. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Sept. 4, at 8:30 a.m., before Judge Kirtland.

(7) comments

Huber Hanes

Having over 25 yrs.in law enforcement, I am convinced beyond any doubts that a Neighborhood Community Watch Program is needed in Titusville -- or at least explore its benefits it offers to your City & County -- before condemning it . On the average -- people will Look -- however will Not See -- a child fall off his/her bicycle and hurt themselves, a elderly person fall down in their front yard from a heart attack, suspicious cars in the neighorhoods, hit and run accidents, ect. -- the lists are endless.

No law enf/experience is required !! Simply learn to be more observant of your surroundings and pick up the phone and dial 911 when you see something going on or happaning out of the ordinary.. Your Police Dept. or Sheriff Dept. will gladly offer you any help in establishing a: Neighborhood Community Watch Program.

Thanks !! Be safe and help take a bit out of crime !

Noahs Bark

I like Hubert’s idea. We should certainly deputized someone in each neighborhood and arm them with city issued firearms. More community surveillance cameras would help too. I don’t. I think these deputies would need to be train to spot “druggies”. I can’t tell the difference anymore. They should also carry naloxone pen and stun guns. I think SSDD’s numbers are a little off though. We’ve had at least 5 murders in the last year or two. One in Centerville, two separate murders near Campbell and the most recent double murder. In a borough of 5,237 (2018), not 7,000 like the interloper claimed, one is too many.


Just goes to show that more gun laws won’t solve anything. They were already barred from owning firearms, yet they still got some. Gee, could it be that criminals don’t follow the laws? What an elementary observation, yet the other half of the country refuses to understand this obviousness.

Also, this one instance once again illustrates how no place is devoid of crime. While Titusville residents have been complaining about meth heads, fires, a guy that killed some folks somewhere out near Centerville and a few other general crimes (such as in this article....where I live we’ve had a string of murders including a guy that killed his young Son because “God” told him he was evil (the mom found the baby in the dumpster in an alleyway), a string of car thefts, a bunch of home invasions, armed robberies, high speed chases, even had a situation where folks claiming to be CHS tried taking some woman’s child (it was confirmed they were impersonating CHS) in ADDITION to opioids, meth heads and general type crimes. Even so, the area I live is pretty safe in comparison to other locales this size. By comparison, Titusville is an old folks home, population approximately 7,000. Ya’ll ready for your jell-o and an afternoon game of cribbage?

Huber Hanes

Repeat: Implement a Community Watch Program in Titusville. It works !

Huber Hanes

After having spent a full time career of 25 years in law enforcement, I am convinced b eyond any doubts that by organizing a; COMMUNITY WATCH PROGRAM in Titusville, Crawford County, Vengngo County -- ect. -- can greatly curb the rise in home Burglaries, House Breakins, and any crimes in general ! Its a fact and well proven.

Community Watch Programs were big in the 1970's and up in the 1980's. Somewhere along the line -- this program was discontinued as there were local Comminity Watch programs, meetings, and gatherings from business's, home owners, victims, law enforcement -- the lists go on and on.

Today -- the need to re-implement a Local Community Watch Program for Titusville, Crawford County, ect. -- is needed more and more. House Break-in's & Larceny as we read can and will be reduced. Not eliminated-- but reduced significantly.

Community Watch Yard Signs in neighborhoods work ! Community Watch programs tea h home owners and all people & ages to LOOK, and report anything suspicious to the Police, Sheriff, ect. Burglars, Druggies and thieves in general cruise neighborhoods and spot homes and spot their victims to rob, or plunder ! Its a fact. I have interviewed many inmates who would me how they could pull off a break-in and get by with it --- simply because people done look around them when they are at home and fail to notice suspicious goings --- and let alone never pick up the phone and notify the police ! Fact !!!

Read my posting, CALL your Police Dept, or Sheriff Dept, and INQUIRE

Noahs Bark

Yep... I must say, unequivocally, that a stronger police presence could have prevented this crime. This summer seems to have an increase in crimes in the metropolitan Titusville area. Moreover, they seem to be more violent. This certainly calls for a stronger and more modern police force. We as citizens should insist on a SWAT team to combat these violent crimes and let the pressure off of the regular police officers. They are over worked and under paid. May God bless our boys in blue.


Thank goodness the police caught these maniacs. Convicted felons need to be monitored constantly, or else this happens.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.