Leaf-raking burglars target Lr. Merion

LOWER MERION TWP., Pa. - November 16, 2011

The 100 block of Union Avenue and the 500 block of Oxford have a few things in common. Both are in Lower Merion, and both have seen burglaries in the last few days.

The abundance of falling leaves also comes in to play, according to police.

"Witnesses, neighbors stating that people have been canvassing to see if they can do some leaf-raking or other lawn maintenance," said Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath.

Once the burglars determine no one is home they go to work. But not on the leaves.

Since Saturday evening there have been six burglaries and one attempt in the Bala Cynwyd, Penn Wynne, and Wynnewood sections of Lower Merion.

Kelly Torrence was a victim around 7:15 Saturday night. The remnants of the door that was kicked in lie outside. A new door has been installed.

"Basically they ran in and they took jewelry. There were electronics and stuff in the house that they never got a chance to touch because we came home and surprised them," said Torrence.

That could often be a problem. Torrence says he's just glad they left without a confrontation.

"We were coming home and we were making a good amount of noise, laughing and joking," he said. "Because apparently at the same time we were coming home we saw there were people running out the back door."

Jewelry, electronics and cash are the items of choice.

"This is a societal problem, isn't it?" another resident told Action News. "People feel they haven't got enough and they're looking elsewhere."

"We believe there may be more than one," said Police Superintendent McGrath.

Lower Merion Police say if residents spot suspicious activity in their neighborhood or are concerned about people knocking on the door to solicit work, give them a call at 610-642-4200.

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