Two Lower Saucon Township residents have been charged in 76 residential burglaries and one attempted burglary in four counties that targeted vacant homes for sale, the Lehigh County District Attorney's office announced Wednesday.
Patrick Quinn, 27, of 2131 Riverside Drive and Kelly Cunningham,
22, of 1843 Nancy Lee Court, were charged following an investigation by
state police at Bethlehem and Bethlehem police into a string of burglaries at
vacant houses that had been listed for sale in Lehigh, Northampton, Bucks and
Carbon counties, according to a news release from the district attorney.
Two of the homes the pair allegedly broke into were in Wilson borough.
Most of the material the pair allegedly stole were copper pipes
and fittings, brass fittings and tools. They later sold the items at scrap
yards in Lehigh and Northampton counties, the DA's office said.
Quinn and Cunningham are each charged with 76 counts of burglary, criminal conspiracy to commit burglary, criminal trespass and criminal conspiracy to commit criminal trespass, and one count of attempted burglary.
According to the news release, "the cases were consolidated and are being prosecuted in Lehigh County because detectives with the David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Laboratory of Lehigh County on the campus of DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township established a crucial link in all the cases by examining a global positioning system [GPS] unit in Cunningham’s vehicle."
Police said the burglaries were committed between Nov. 23, 2012 and May 24, 2013 during overnight hours.
The total amount of stolen items and damage to the properties is estimated at approximately $205,807, authorities said.
According to an affidavit of probable cause for arrest outlined in the news release, Quinn and Cunningham allegedly had a specific modus operandi.
First, authorities say, they accessed a real estate website via a laptop computer and cell phone to identify homes that were for sale.
"They then would enter the addresses into a GPS and drive to the locations," the press release said.
Cunningham and Quinn would also allegedly target residences when they drove by them and saw "for sale" signs outside.
Police say their alleged scheme began to unravel in May, when a state trooper was contacted by the owner of a scrap yard who reported that Cunningham was regularly bringing copper to him to be sold for scrap.
The owner also reported that Quinn had been bringing copper to him, the release said.
The scrap yard owner, who was not identified, gave the trooper a description of Cunningham's vehicle and its license plate, and when police searched the car they found a GPS unit along with a salvage yard receipt, "pieces of copper piping, numerous cutting tools, pry tools and duffle bags," the release said.
Police also reportedly searched a bedroom in an apartment at 605 Nazareth Pike, Lower Nazareth Township, where Quinn had lived, and seized a cell phone and shoes.
The district attorney's office reported that police also found two notebooks containing addresses in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties.
A detective in the Petzold Laboratory analyzed the GPS unit taken from Cunningham’s vehicle and was able to determine that Cunningham and Quinn were in the immediate areas where a majority of the burglaries had occurred, police said.
The following list of burglaries and one attempted burglary was provided by the Lehigh County District Attorney's office in the news release:
■ 700 block of Spring St., Bethlehem
■ 2500 block of Saucon Valley Drive, Upper Saucon Township
■ 7700 block of Center St., Washington Township
■ 1500 block of Farm Lane, Bethlehem
■ 5700 block of Main St., Upper Saucon Township
■ 5100 block of Price Ave., Upper Saucon Township
■ 400 block of Fullerton Ave., Whitehall Township
■ 700 block of Fifth St., Whitehall Township
■ 4500 block of Pleasant View Drive, Upper Saucon Township
■ 1400 block of Limeport Pike, Lower Milford Township
■ 4800 block of Spruce St., North Whitehall Township
■ 6000 block of Sweetwood Drive, Lower Macungie Township
■ 100 block of Spruce St., Emmaus
■ 4700 block of Kernsville Road, North Whitehall Township
■ 1000 block of Pennsylvania Ave., Emmaus
■ 3400 block of Lehigh St., Whitehall Township
■ 3200 block of Route 309, North Whitehall Township
■ 700 block of Keystone Ave., Bethlehem
■ First block of N. Fourth St., Coplay
■ 4800 block of Main St., Whitehall Township
■ 100 block of S. Ninth St., Coplay
■ 1000 block of Sixth St., North Catasauqua
■ 1800 block of Lamplighter Dr., Lower Macungie Township
■ 1200 block of N. 23rd St., South Whitehall Township
■ 5500 block of Reid Lane, Upper Macungie Township
■ 3700 block of Chipman Road, Bethlehem Township
■ 900 block of Riverview Drive, Lehigh Township
■ 100 block of S. Chestnut St., Bath
■ 100 block of Tewksbury Court, Upper Nazareth Township
■ 100 block of Mauch Chunk Road, Nazareth
■ 3200 block of Rim Road, Bethlehem Township
■ 1300 block of Newport Ave., Northampton
■ 100 block of Lehigh Gap St., Walnutport
■ 3300 block of Silvercrest Road, Upper Nazareth Township
■ 2700 block of Mary St., Palmer Township
■ 4100 block of Green Pond Road, Bethlehem Township
■ 4100 Nicholas St., Palmer Township
■ 900 block of Washington Ave., Northampton
■ 400 block of S. Cottonwood Road, Lehigh Township
■ 1400 block of Washington Ave., Northampton
■ 400 block of E. 19th St., Northampton
■ 200 block of S. Walnut St., Bath
■ 700 block of Finady Ave., Bethlehem
■ 1700 block of Washington St., Wilson
■ 100 block of N. New St., Nazareth
■ 1400 block of Newport Ave., Northampton
■ 1700 block of Millard St., Bethlehem
■ 2100 block of Davis St., Bethlehem
■ First block of Forest Drive, Nazareth
■ 400 block of S. Whitfield St., Nazareth
■ 2100 block of Hay St., Wilson
■ 1000 block of Elm St., Bethlehem
■ 2200 block of Rodgers St., Bethlehem
■ First block of E. Goepp St., Bethlehem
■ 2400 block of Edgewood Ave., Bethlehem
■ 200 block of E. Main St., Pen Argyl
■ 4300 block of Newburg Road, Lower Nazareth Township
■ 2100 block of Concord Ave., Bethlehem
■ 3100 block of Linden St., Bethlehem
■ 1500 block of Harmor Lane, Hanover Township
■ 4600 block of Oakwood Lane, Lower Nazareth Township
■ 500 block of E. Fairview St., Bethlehem
■ 300 block of Wedgewood Road, Hanover Township
■ 4600 block of Oakwood Lane, Lower Nazareth Township
■ 200 block of E. Bridle Path Road, Bethlehem
■ 5400 block of Hale Ave., Hanover Township
■ 1500 block of Washington Ave., Northampton
■ 700 block of Hickory Lane, Palmer Township
■ 700 block of Butternut Lane, Palmer Township
■ 200 block of N. Broadway, Wind Gap
■ 2700 block of Kingsview Ave., Bethlehem Township
■ 4700 block of Concord Drive, Bethlehem Township
■ 400 block of Little Gap Road, Lower Towamensing Township
■ 400 block of Tohickon Ave., Quakertown
■ 1200 block of Berger Road, West Rockhill Township
■ 200 block of S. Second St., Quakertown
■ 2300 block of Rosedale Road, Milford Township