Police in Warminster recently took 12 individuals into custody in connection with numerous that – for the most part – have taken place in the neighborhoods west of York Road.
Since the arrests have been made, the burglary rate in the township has dropped, police said.
A burglary in the 300 block of Hickory Road, which was occupied by an elderly resident, has been connected by investigators to Brandon Ray Lindsey, 18, of Phillips Road, and an unidentified 17-year-old male juvenile, who is also a Warminster resident. Lindsey and the 17-year-old were chased out of the home by the elderly homeowner.
The two teens made off with the victim’s credit card and are alleged to have used the card at local stores. The juvenile was arrested and turned over to Bucks County Juvenile Court and found to be delinquent. Lindsay has a warrant out for his arrest and remains at large.
David Cattalo, 19, of Newtown Road, and Devin Torres, 19, of Martha Lane, were taken into custody on charges of burglary and several related charges in connection with a burglary in the 1100 block of Oakleaf Lane that occurred in December. Cattalo remains in Bucks County Prison and Torres is free on bail.
Charles O’ Sullivan, 25, of Ryan Lane in Cape May, NJ, was charged with several counts of burglary, theft and related offenses in connection with crimes in the 200 block of Bloomfield Road, 9000 block of Log College Drive and the 300 block of Florence Road. He remains in county jail.
24-year-old Brian Holly, of Bellemeade Drive, Warminster, is being held in county jail after being arrested after a police investigation revealed he burglarized a residence in the 700 block of Worthington Drive on February 10. He is being charged with burglary and related offences.
Horsham resident Walter Lee Williams, 21, of Meetinghouse Road, has been arrested and charged with committing a burglary in the 300 block of Hickory Road on January 28, 2012. Williams was confronted by the homeowners and fled from the home. He attempted to avoid arrest, but was apprehended last Friday. Williams is in Bucks County Prison in lieu of bail.
James T. Kowalski, 26, of Street Road in Warminster, was arrested along with Christopher Pulliam, 26, of Apple Hill Road in Horsham Township. The duo was arrested and charged with burglary and related offenses in connection with a Valentine’s Day burglary on Log College Road. Both Kowalski and Pulliam are also charged with burglaries in Montgomery County. Pulliam’s girlfriend, Meghan Doyle, 27, was charged with receiving stolen property and dealing in unlawful proceeds for selling jewelry stolen from the home on Log College Road.
Patrick Edward McAfee, 24, of Chatfield Road, in Warrington, faces burglary and related offenses in connection with a break-in that occurred in the 1400 block of Sinkler Road in November 2011. He is also facing attempted burglary charges after he is alleged to have tried to rob a home in the 800 block of Worthington Road which occurred just three days after the burglary on Sinkler Road.
A 12-year-old Warminster boy was also arrested and charged after it is alleged he broke into a residence in the 1400 block of Maguire Lane and took cash. Charges of burglary and similar charges were lodged against the 12-year-old in county juvenile court.
The 12 suspects – two of them minors – were discovered after a large police investigation that involved collaboration with several local police departments, Detective Sergeant Scott Selisker said.
“We dedicated a lot of resources into this investigation and used a lot of different investigative techniques,” Seliker told Patch.
Many of the alleged burglars entered by breaking a rear door or window and taking items that were small, easy to carry, and could be sold with ease at pawn shops. Some of the items that were commonly taken were: cash, jewelry and small electronics.
Some of the thieves “would use a ruse; such as soliciting for some type of service or accidently knocking on the wrong door if someone was home,” police said. In other cases, the burglars would knock on the front door to determine if the house was occupied.
Many of the alleged burglars are believed by investigators to be motivated the need for money to fuel habits to drugs such as “heroin and oxycodone.” In February, Warminster police Chief Michael Murphy commented to Patch that the burglaries were suspected to be connected to a recent “uptick in drug use.”
24-year-old Robert Cheeseman, of River Birch Drive, in Plumstead, has been taken into custody and is suspected by authorities of being the source of the heroin and oxycodone pills many of the burglary suspects were purchasing with the proceeds of their thefts, police stated. The alleged drug peddler is charged with four counts of delivery of a controlled substance, conspiracy and criminal use of a communication facility. A police search of Cheeseman’s home resulted in the seizure of 30mg oxycodone pills, needles, syringes and money.
Warminster police are working with other departments to determine if any of the suspects are connected to the recent string of daytime burglaries that have occurred in neighboring townships, Selisker said.
Additionally, several of the burglary cases remain open and additional arrest are still “pending,” according to a release issued by police.
Police suggest following measures to help protect property from burglars:
- Lock all windows and doors when not home, including second floor windows.
- Do not leave keys under a door mat.
- Install security locks on all exterior doors. Security locks are locks which are keyed on both sides especially if the door has glass windows.
- Active your alarm if you have one installed.
- Hide all valuables somewhere safe especially irreplaceable items such as heirloom jewelry and firearms. Most burglars are easily able to see jewelry boxes on dressers by peering into bedroom windows.
- Photograph all valuables including jewelry and record serial numbers of valuable electronics such as computers, IPods, IPads etc.
- Report ALL suspicious activity by calling 9-1-1.