Monday, March 6, 2017

NY men charged in Bethlehem Township cellphone burglary

T-Mobile store Bethlehem Township.jpg

Bethlehem Township PA March 6 2017 Perhaps no one told Chris Williams and Donald Potter about the five cellphone store robberies since late October in the Lehigh Valley and northwest New Jersey.
They're from New York, after all. They probably don't read the local paper. They're probably not up-to-date on the multi-jurisdictional task force, the killing or the abduction.
So they likely wouldn't know that security is likely on high alert.
Bethlehem Township police said Williams, 29, of Brentwood, New York, and Potter, 29, of Medford, New York, used a yellow sledgehammer early Friday morning to break the glass at the T-Mobile store at 4402 Birkland Place in the township.
How did police know it was yellow?
The 25-year-old was arrested as part of a task force looking into at least five robberies, a killing and an abduction.
Tyco Security had received an alarm just before 1:50 a.m. and was "monitoring the burglary as it transpired," police said. The security company could see Williams and Potter were wearing black as they went into the store and began stealing phones -- one of them an iPhone6 tracker phone in a white box, police said.
3SI Security began to track the phone and noted Williams and Potter drove onto Route 33, then west on Route 22, police said. They got off on Airport Road in Hanover Township, Lehigh County, and headed back east on 22, police said.
At 2:04 a.m., 3SI Security noted the car stopped just west of Route 512 in Hanover Township, Northampton County. Pennsylvania State Police troopers had pulled over the Honda Accord with New York tags, township police said.
With the stolen device still in the car, the security company tracked the tow truck back to township police headquarters as the car was impounded, police said.
An investigator got a search warrant for the car and police said they found:
the sledge hammer,
two black iPhone 7s,
two black iPhone 7-Pluses,
one Samsung SE,
one Samsung 5,
the iPhone 6 with the 3 SI Tracker,
a white iPhone,
a black backpack containing broken glass,
a pair of gray gloves,
a blue-gray knit hat
a wireless headphone box
The items were valued at $2,400.
Williams and Potter were arraigned Friday morning just before Eric Watson, 25,  who is charged with selling phones stolen in a months-long crime spree that led to a task force of local investigators.
Williams and Potter and their alleged crimes are not connected to the cellphone store robberies that is the focus of a Lehigh Valley task force, authorities said.
District Judge Patricia Broscius set bail for Williams and Potter at $100,000, with a 10 percent option if approved by PreTrial Services, on charges of burglary, conspiracy, theft and receiving stolen property.
Both had previous criminal records and both had jobs, they told the judge.
They were both sent to Northampton County Prison.
Their preliminary hearing is tentatively scheduled 10 a.m. March 13. 

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