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Burglary Spree Suspects Caught On Camera

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Watch: Burglary 9200 Masland Street

By Elizabeth Hur

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Caught on camera – alleged burglars breaking into a home in Northeast Philadelphia and police think this is part of a crime spree in the tri-state area.

Police are asking homeowners to be on guard.

In Northeast Philadelphia, police believe they’re dealing with at least two suspects. A third suspect may be involved acting as a getaway driver.

As was the case in other communities hit with this similar crime, police say the latest suspects are also targeting homes when they know no one is home.

Sgt. Dennis Rosenbaum with the Philadelphia Police Department explained, “They’re obviously casing the house out. The homeowner leaves to run their errands and within a minute and a half, they come down the street.”

The suspects may have thought the coast was clear but what they failed to notice are the multiple surveillance cameras recording their every move.

“They knock on the door to make sure no one is home. They then go around back while one male stays and looks out, the other one gains entry to the house,” Rosenbaum said.

Fortunately for the homeowner in that case, the burglary alarm went off, scaring off the thieves. Police say that home in the 9200 block of Masland Street was the first of three break-ins reported in a span of two hours in Bustleton and Rhawnhurst Monday evening.

“These scumbags! How can these people do that to hard working people like us?” The victim said.

For his protection, the victim asked that we only use his first name, Jose.

He added, “They took jewelry, they took money, they took our TV, they took my weapon.”

“In Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, there has been an uptick in burglaries,” Rosenbaum explained.

This month alone, Eyewitness News told you about the burglaries in at least seven South Jersey Communities involving as many as 90 homes. Police told us that accounts for reports they took from victims in the last three months.

Northeast Detectives say they are now working with those agencies to crack this series of burglaries in which the target appears to be jewelry.

“Precious metals with the price of precious metals being up, we’ve seen an uptick in burglaries and sales in jewelry to places that buy it. For the most part, these are all different individuals taking the opportunity to make a quick buck,” Rosenbaum said.
Philadelphia police, in the meantime, are distributing fliers in the affected neighborhoods to alert the victims’ neighbors and to stress they can make a difference.

Rosenbaum explained, “Countless times, we get a phone call, ‘Oh, I saw these guys knocking on the door, walking around, I thought they were suspicious but maybe they were doing lawn work?’ If they make you think that something’s not right, go with your gut feeling and call us and we’ll come out and gladly investigate it.”

As for the three cases in Northeast Philadelphia, eyewitnesses reported seeing a white van with some cleaning service written on the side at each of the scenes. Police tell us they are looking into the possibility that van is linked to the suspects.

Suspect Description:

Suspect #1 Black male 20-27 years of age, medium build, light complexion, beard, wearing a dark knit hat, gray hooded sweatshirt with distinct white draw strings and a small light colored emblem on the chest, dark pants and black shoes.

Suspect #2 Black male 20-27 years of age, thin build, wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt, dark pants and tan work boots.

To view the surveillance video: Visit the Philadelphia Police YouTube Channel or visit http://phillypolice.com/news

If you see these males do not approach him, contact 911 immediately.

To submit a tip via telephone, dial 215.686.TIPS (8477).

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