Charges dropped against officer for doing laundry at neighbor's house

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AVALON, Pa. - The charges against a Rankin police officer who was accused of breaking into his neighbor’s home to use the washer and dryer were dismissed Wednesday.

Jason Rocco was originally charged with trespassing and criminal mischief after allegedly breaking into a home on Marie Avenue in Avalon earlier this month.

“No harm, no foul. Let’s be realistic. Everything isn’t a federal offense today,” Rocco said Wednesday after finding out the charges were dropped.

According to police, the owner of the home contacted police after noticing his electric bill was high, despite not having lived in the house for months.

The homeowner told police he walked into his house and heard the dryer running. He found a load of clothes inside, including police officer and Marine Corps T-shirts.

Investigators said they think Rocco broke in through the back of the house. When he was questioned, he told police the door was already broken and he “just had to do some laundry.”

Police said Rocco also asked the investigators for his clothes back.

“Let’s face it. This officer just wanted clean clothes and his machine wasn’t working,” defense attorney Phil DiLucente said.

DiLucente argued in court that his client, a husband and father, simply made a mistake. DiLucente also said the neighbor no longer wanted to follow through on the charges.

Rocco said he’s still waiting to find out if he’ll be allowed back on the police force.

When asked if he missed being a police officer, Rocco said, “Absolutely.”

The Rankin Police Department has not commented on the incident.