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Man Connected To Several Thefts In Bensalem Area In Police Custody

Brad Segall Brad Segall
Brad Segall is the award-winning Suburban Bureau chief at KYW...
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By Brad Segall

BENSALEM, Pa. (CBS) — Bensalem police say the serial purse snatcher they’ve been looking for over the last few months is already locked up, in Montgomery County, for similar crimes.

Hours after releasing video surveillance of a man they wanted for stealing wallets and purses from offices, Bensalem police learned the suspect they were looking for was John Irby. The 48-year-old Philadelphia man was arrested two weeks ago by police in Lower Merion for similar crimes.

Bensalem police say Irby would dress like a maintenance worker and nonchalantly make his way around an office complex.

“(He would) either take the whole wallet or just take the credit cards, go to a nearby department store, purchase gift cards, and I’m sure he would go sell them for a discounted price,” says Bensalem police sergeant Andy Aninsman.

Lower Merion police say Irby was committing the same crimes in office buildings in Bala Cynwyd between December of last year and last month.  At least a dozen people were victimized there.  Court records show Irby has a long criminal history.  He is currently being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.