Police say the alleged thieves watched their victims, stalking them for hours sometimes. They waited for people to leave their cars to do things like go to the gym, or pump gas, or pick a kid up from daycare. They broke into one car at a cemetery while the owners visited the grave of a loved one.
Investigators believe a ring of thieves has been hitting the suburban area of western Pennsylvania hard in the last few months, breaking into vehicles, snatching iPods and wallets and cell phones and anything else that might seem valuable.
Last week police in Bensalem Township, Pennsylvania stormed a Red Roof Inn and arrested four Broward men. Police there also say they found
35 driver's licenses, 53 credit cards, more than 50 checkbooks or checks, and five social security cards from nearly 100 different people. Victims were from Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, Delaware, New Jersey, and Connecticut. They also found narcotics. A police spokesperson told me a motel employee directed them to three rooms rented by "men with a lot of gold teeth," where they found Earl Johnson, 31; Ronny Lodge, 22; Armone Stanley, 30; and Javaris Williams, 23.
Johnson, police say, tried to flee but was taken down. On him, police say they found several pieces of identification belonging to local women and a check for $1,900. Two of the victims police spoke with say their vehicles were recently broken into outside an LA Fitness in Fort Washington, PA.
In a related bust last month, in a nearby motel, authorities arrested Kenton Frazier, 26, and found a peculiar device known as a "spring-loaded center punch," police say is commonly used to smash windows.
All of the men arrested are from Broward. Police aren't sure what brought them to Pennsylvania.