Serial burglar on the prowl in Delaware County

RIDLEY PARK, PA - August 25, 2009

The wheelchair attack happened at one o'clock this afternoon at Hinckley and Sellers Avenues in Ridley Park. A man in his wheelchair was manhandled by a guy who wanted his iPod.

"Believe me, we'll get him, I have no doubt in my mind we'll get him," said Ridley Park Police Chief Thomas Byrne.

The person in the wheelchair was not seriously injured and the thief dropped the iPod as he made his getaway. Police suspect he's the same man who is burglarizing homes - five in the last ten days, following another that was interrupted in the 800 block of Ridley Avenue.

"He's not real sophisticated. He gets in by kicking in basement windows or sliding through windows," said Byrne.

The burglar has also struck homes in the area of East Ridley Avenue and Tasker Street taking jewelry, cash and a couple of laptop computers.

"I believe the person is from this area," said Byrne. "If he doesn't live in this area, he is visiting someone in this area. You're talking about a town that prior to this first burglary ten days ago, had four burglaries the rest of the year."

Police say so far, all of the homes he's struck have been targeted while the homeowners are away. And they worry what might happen if somebody walks in on him.

"I personally believe that we are dealing with a drug addict," said Byrne. "We're dealing with somebody who is just out there trying to grab whatever they can grab to go get their next hit of drugs. And I'm just afraid that somebody is going to get hurt."

Police are hoping a surveillance camera from an area business may have captured the robbery of the man in the wheelchair today. At the very least, they hope to have a composite sketch of the man shortly.

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