Video of ‘Keyed’ Car Damage Ends in Citation, Plea

SKIPPACK PA – You never know when you’ll be on candid camera. That was true in the recent case of a 66-year-old Harleysville woman, according to Pennsylvania State Police at the Troop K Barracks in Skippack, who was arrested after a hidden video device captured her on surveillance footage in the alleged act of damaging a neighbor’s vehicle.

The victim was a 50-year-old woman, also a Harleysville resident. She legally and regularly parked her car in an assigned space at a garage on Ashland Drive in Skippack Township, troopers said in a public information release issued Wednesday (July 14, 2021).

Since May 2021, the victim on two separate occasions discovered someone had dragged a car key across the painted finish of her vehicle, a 2009 Ford Edge, scratching it. They “keying,” as the act is known (at top), occurred twice during the month, troopers said. Hoping to catch that same someone as a repeat perpetrator, the victim bought a miniature video camera, positioned it to capture the crime in progress, and waited.

It happened again, a third time, about a month later, in late June. The victim called troopers with her evidence in hand, and they reportedly observed the suspect “on camera, vandalizing the victim’s vehicle.” The accused offender was issued a citation for criminal mischief, and appeared Monday (July 12) before a local magisterial district justice. She entered a guilty plea, the troopers’ report stated.

It did not offer any reason for her action.

Also Wednesday, troopers reported:

Identity theft crimes

During the 19-day period between June 27 and Wednesday (July 14), state police said they received 12 separate and unrelated reports of identity theft. Most involved illegal and unauthorized filings by unknown individuals for the Pennsylvania unemployment benefits of the victims.

Troopers said they are investigating reports filed by:

  • A 55-year-old man who lives on Kelso Circle, Trappe Borough;
  • A 55-year-old woman on Cornwallis Way, Perkiomen Township;
  • A 51-year-old man on Westover Road, Perkiomen;
  • A 70-year-old man on Napa Circle, Upper Hanover Township;
  • A 62-year-old woman on Main Street in Red Hill Borough;
  • A 41-year-old man on Harvard Drive in Trappe;
  • A 40-year-old woman on Bridge Street in Perkiomen;
  • A 56-year-old man on Weiser Place in Trappe;
  • A 53-year-old woman on Penny Lane in Perkiomen;
  • A 61-year-old woman on Skippack Pike in Skippack Township;
  • A 53-year-old woman on Fairway Drive in Trappe; and
  • A 54-year-old man on Wismer Road in Trappe.

An article published Wednesday by the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper reported that state officials say recent increases in fraud attempts are tied to earlier leaks of personal and confidential data from sources outside the government.

Photo by Ivan Radic via WikiMedia Commons and Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license