Police make arrests in Bethlehem burglaries

January 25, 2011 3:09:15 PM PST
Police in Bethlehem believe they've gotten to the bottom of a months-long burglary spree.

Three people have been arrested in the case - 32-year-old Elias Amaro, 27-year-old Vanessa Capozzi and 23-year-old Philip Trout.

Investigators say the three were behind a slew of burglaries in the city's south side over the past two months. Many of their victims were off-campus Lehigh University students.

"It's very scary when your house gets broken into and it's good to hear that the burglars have been arrested," said Lehigh University senior Molly O'Neill.

Police say the trio waited until they knew the local college kids were away for winter break, then broke into their homes. They allegedly made away with tens of thousands of dollars worth cash, jewelry, and electronics.

Investigators say all three are heroin addicts looking for quick cash.

"It's a shame when you see somebody whose life has been destroyed by drugs and committing these types of crimes, serious felonies, to feed this type of addiction," said Commissioner Stuart Bedics of the Bethlehem Police Dept.

The break in the case came when Amaro and Trout were caught burglarizing a home in nearby Forks Township. Authorities were able to link them to the burglaries in Bethlehem during the ensuing police interviews. They arrested Capozzi a short time later, charging her with being the driver of the get-away car.

The Lehigh students we spoke to say they have now reclaimed the peace of mind they lost two months ago.

"I know a lot of people tried to bring everything home and lock up their houses as best they could. They still got in regardless," said Lehigh University senior Vince Beretta.

"It's definitely a relief to hear they were caught and hopefully the crime will die down," said junior Jennifer Pysher.

Amaro, Trout and Capozzi were arraigned on Tuesday morning on 20 counts of burglary, but authorities say that could change if the three are linked to other crimes in the region.