Arrests for burglary rings continue

November 30, 2010 6:10:23 AM PST
Last week's arrests of the so-called "Route 252 burglars" may have made Delaware County homeowners breathe a little easier, but police are seeing some trends that are making them as concerned as ever.

Chances are pretty good that someone in the Delaware Valley arrived home Monday night to find their home had been burglarized. But, local police have been making significant arrests recently that should lessen your odds of being victimized.

Police say burglars have become more brazen. Few of them were more brazen than one couple picked up in West Philadelphia last week. Police now say Rocco Matero and Helen Ukoprec may be responsible for as many as 30 daytime burglaries in Delaware County.

Investigators found so much loot in their house, they spent the entire weekend sorting through it.

Daytime burglaries have been plaguing suburban communities and parts of Philadelphia. Abington Police recently arrested two men last month after a high-speed chase that ended in a crash. William Perkins and John Wilson have been charged with four burglaries, but more charges are coming. Police believe they're responsible for dozens and dozens of daytime burglaries.

Lower Merion Police recently investigated a burglary at one house where crime had become so common that the homeowner wasn't surprised when he was robbed.

Police say the burglars usually operate as teams, casing neighborhoods. They ring doorbells, and when there's no answer, they break in through a window or kick in a back door.

Blame it on the gold rush. Home burglaries have jumped along with the price of gold. The thieves go straight for the jewelry box and are in and out before the police are able to respond to alarms.

The best defense is a good neighbor.

Risa Ferman, the Montgomery County D.A., told Action News: "When you have people in the neighborhood who keep an eye out or willing to make a phone call when something appears to be out of the ordinary, that's when you're most likely to prevent something from happening or catch the perpetrators."

Even though police have made some significant arrests, there are plenty of others out their looking to make a quick buck on looted gold.


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