SANATOGA PA – Two juvenile males were arrested late Thursday night (June 25, 2015) and charged with a variety of apparently theft-related offenses as the result of an investigation jointly conducted by the Lower Pottsgrove and Pottstown police departments, Lower Pottsgrove Chief Michael Foltz said in a press release.
A third person fled without being apprehended, Foltz said Friday (June 26). Names and addresses of the two captured suspects, who he said are being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility in Eagleville PA, were not released due to their ages.
The number and specifics of charges against them were not listed, but Foltz said they primarily stemmed from “a series of over a dozen thefts or attempted thefts from vehicles (that) occurred throughout the township,” as well as in neighboring communities, during overnight hours between Wednesday (June 24) and Thursday.
Within Lower Pottsgrove, according to Foltz, the latest incidents took place along Hause Avenue, Christina Court, and in the Sanatoga Ridge Community retirement development. One involved an allegedly stolen gun; another allegedly resulted in the theft of a car.
All involved unlocked vehicles, the chief reported. In the case of the stolen car, he added, its keys allegedly were left inside.
These incidents come in addition to 24 similar thefts within the township that remain under investigation from earlier this month, Foltz added.
His release offered an account of the night’s activity:
Within an hour of receiving the report of the stolen car, Lower Pottsgrove police recovered it abandoned along Village Lane in the township, about a quarter-mile from the location where it was taken. As part of the on-going investigation, and with cooperation of the vehicle owner, police left the recovered stolen vehicle where it was found and maintained 24-hour surveillance on it.
Thursday at about 10:48 p.m. the suspects returned to the vehicle, arriving in another vehicle allegedly stolen from a neighboring jurisdiction. As police closed in to attempt an arrest, the several male juveniles fled the area in the second stolen car.
Police initially attempted to stop the suspects, but after they fled through residential properties and “were clearly showing a disregard for safety,” it stated, officers discontinued any attempt to stop them.
Officers had a vehicle description and broadcast its last known direction of travel, west on High Street from the area of Hause Avenue. A few minutes later, police received a report of an accident in which a vehicle matching the description had struck a traffic light standard at High Street and Armand Hammer Boulevard. Witnesses reported its three occupants fled on foot.
Lower Pottsgrove and Pottstown police set up a perimeter and apprehended two of the three juveniles hiding nearby, and took them into custody. One of the juveniles allegedly was found in possession of the keys to the victim’s stolen car from Christina Court. Several other car keys from various make and models of cars were also recovered during the investigation.
Lower Pottsgrove and Pottstown police are cooperating in the investigation, Foltz noted. Police ask anyone with information to contact them at 610-326-1508.
“As a reminder,” he added, “although this is a great step forward in our ongoing investigations into these crimes, we encourage our residents to lock vehicles at all times when left unattended, and be sure to remove all valuables.”
“Some people argue they feel it is better to leave their cars unlocked, as potential criminals will cause more damage by just smashing windows or doing other damage to gain entry, but we see this as rare instance. These crimes all involve opportunistic criminals. Your unlocked car provides that opportunity,” the chief said.
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