Upper Darby police search for serial burglars

UPPER DARBY, Pa. - December 2, 2011 UPS is extremely busy at this time of year, just ride around and see how many boxes are sitting on front steps.

Unfortunately, it's also an opportunity for thieves.

Upper Darby Police say on Tuesday, seven packages were stolen from two homes on Penn Street in the township. UPS drivers say, very often they are followed.

"This time of year, it happens a lot," said UPS driver Bill Gillespie. "People are desperate. People need presents and they have no jobs, and everything else. So they follow drivers around picking up stuff."

Upper Darby Police Superintendant Michael Chitwood says in addition to packages lifted from front doors, there has been a rash of burglaries, usually between 5:30pm and 7:30pm.

Eight break-ins occurred between Monday, November 21st, and on Wednesday, November 30th, three streets in the upscale Drexel Park area were targeted; the 400 and 500 blocks of Brookfield and the 400 block of Lombardy were also hit, as well as homes on Harper, Penn, Forrest and Turner Avenues.

"These bums, that's the nicest word I can use to describe them. They go into these homes, they steal, they rob and they pillage what people have worked hard to get," says Michael Chitwood. Chitwood says $20,000 in cash was taken along with electronics, jewelry and even two guns.

The DiTomasso brothers say their Drexel Hill neighborhoods are quiet, but they aren't surprised to hear of the crimes.

"This time of year, I can see that type of thing happening, being the holidays and all," said Michael DiTommaso.

"The good thing is the neighbors, if they keep an eye out, the neighbors that stay home, the retired neighbors, if they just keep an eye out because anything can happen anywhere," said Louis DiTommaso.

Burglaries and thefts happen year round, but this is the season for the numbers are expected to climb.

Superintendant Chitwood warns residents to be vigilant, and if they spot anything suspicious, call the police right away.

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