Country club thefts

January 13, 2009 2:49:03 PM PST
Police said the group of 5 thieves hit 37 country clubs in 10 different counties in the tri-state area. The Ace Center in Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County is one of the country clubs that was targeted. The joint investigation was conducted by the Pa. State Attorney General's office & state police that began last year.

Authorities said the suspects swiped the items out of cars parked at the country clubs. Some of the items taken were high end jewelry, cell phones and iPods.

"The group allegedly is responsible for purchasing and selling more than $100,000 worth of stolen merchandise and attempting to make more purchases totaling $25,000 in credit cards that were denied," said Pa. Attorney General Tom Corbett.

Authorities said Michael Pacitti was the man leading the operation: he was out on parole for similar crimes. They said his pack of well-organized thieves included four others.

These individuals knew that they had a very small window of time to make their purchases with the stolen credit cards before the victim of the stolen credit card had the card cancelled," Corbett said.

Among the 37 country clubs that were targeted across the region were the Paxon Hollow Country Club in Marple Twp, The 5 ponds country club in Warminster, and the Philmont in Lower Moreland. Authorities said the items were being sold to 30-year-old Dan Phuc Tran of Philadelphia who they said specialized in re-selling stolen merchandise.

"Criminals need to know that the ever improving capabilities of law enforcement will be utilized to quickly detect crimes identify the suspect and prosecute them accordingly," said Major George Bivens of Pa. State Police.

Some of the victims have been indentified, but authorities believe there are others out there who may have been victimized by the ring. If you think you're one of them, you're being asked to call State Police @ 215-791-7282.

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