Arrests in rooftop burglary case

February 21, 2008 1:19:30 PM PST
There is an apparent break in the case of the rooftop burglars. Police say the burglars broke into a beauty supply store in South Philadelphia on Tuesday. Using an ax and a hand saw, they cut a hole in the ceiling. They stole money from the store's ATM.

Police say they also hit a beverage store right next door using the same tools.

"They try to make as little noise as possible, so they use no gas or power equipment," said Chief Richard Slifer of Nether Providence Township police.

Investigators have arrested three people in connection with these burglaries.

The chief says earlier this month 36-year-old Kemmon Simmons was the lookout while Keyontyli and Taleon Gaffney swooped into a Wawa on North Providence Road.

That burglary was interrupted when someone called police saying a man was on the roof of the building.

"Whoever comes into contact with them can be potentially in danger, so committing a commercial burglary -- they are a real threat to society," said Slifer.

Investigators say the men scope out the businesses for 4 to 5 days before hitting them. The burglars know exactly where to cut their holes in the roofs and drop in so they don't activate any alarms.

With more than 40 burglaries in three states, police say hundreds of thousands of dollars have been stolen in cash, phone cards and cigarettes.