MORTON, Pa. (CBS) –A former teacher turned burglar is wanted by police and police say they need the public’s help finding him.
30-year-old Michael Innaurato, according to the Ridley School District superintendent, Lee Ann Wentzel, was hired as a per-diem and substitute teacher in 2007 and eventually became a full-time fourth grade teacher at Amosland Elementary School in Morton, Delaware County.
But on April 13, 2010, Wentzel says Innaurato resigned from his post.
Lt. Scott Willoughby with the Ridley Township Police Department added, “He abruptly left the building and quit his job.”
Court documents say Innaurato is “a bipolar individual, who is on a drug binge and burglary rampage, who is suffering with a gambling and a drug addiction.”
“Now that he has a handgun or several handguns, we’re afraid this is going to escalate, the violence is going to escalate as well,” Lt. Willoughby said.
To fund his addictions, police allege Innaurato has been breaking into homes in Ridley Township, Aston and Rutledge.
Lt. Willoughby explained, “All these people are either family members or acquaintances of his. The job in Aston was a teacher who he’s friends with at Amosland Elementary school.”
Police say Innaurato victimized his own father twice.
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According to court documents: On February 6, 2011, Innaurato broke into his father’s home and stole a .45 caliber automatic handgun, ammunition, $1,000 cash and diamond earrings valued at over $1,000. Innaurato’s father told police on December 20, 2010, Innaurato stole more than $6,000 cash and forged two checks over $1,900.
In all, police say Innaurato broke into five homes and stole 3 handguns.
“One of our biggest fears is that obviously he’s going to run out of people he knows to burglarize and then he’s going to end up still needing money,” Lt. Willoughby said.
“It’s hard to believe really like I never pictured him like that,” Chuck Benzing said.
Benzing lived in the same 3-story apartment building with Innaurato. Benzing was baffled by the allegations and back at Amosland Elementary School, some parents were equally stunned.
Charlene D’Ambrosio said, “I think it’s crazy, he had a good career and to ruin it for something like that. I heard he was a good guy that all of the kids seemed to like him.”
“I think it’s unfortunate, I don’t know the circumstances that got him into that situation but it’s just unfortunate,” Vincent Williams added.
Superintendent Wentzel explained, even though Innaurato is no longer an employee with the district, she understood some people may be concerned so district officials are doing everything they can to maintain a secure environment at Amosland Elementary School.
In the meantime, police say Innaurato is believed to be driving his green-colored 2002 Ford Escape with PA license plate: GTF-4668.
Police say Innaurato was recently spotted at Harrah’s Chester Casino and that is why police say they are not ruling out the possibility Innaurato may even travel to Atlantic City, NJ to gamble.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Ridley Township Police Detective Divison at (610) 532-4002.
Reported by Elizabeth Hur, CBS 3