Jewelry thieves target Montgomery County open houses

EAST NORRITON TWP., Pa. - December 18, 2013

Police say the two suspects began stealing from open houses in February. Their alleged crimes continued for more than 6 months when police caught up with them in October.

On Tuesday, they were charged with more than a dozen crimes.

They posed as husband and wife looking for a new home, but investigators say once Megan McCormick and Jeff Ridenour walked into an open house for sale their target was jewelry.

"They would go inside and basically ask the realtors questions and what not and find some scheme to separate them. 'I have to use the bathroom,' or what not. And once that happened, they would get into the jewelry boxes up in the bedrooms," explained Sgt. David Boyer, East Norriston Police.

Police from across Montgomery County say McCormick was involved in nearly a dozen thefts or attempted thefts.

The total value of the jewelry stolen is estimated to be worth over $90,000.

"They were pawning it off. We don't know why they were; we think they may have a controlled substance issue, that is usually what's happening these days," Sgt. Boyer.

Sources say the duo had a heroin habit.

Police say McCormick had been arrested for similar crimes last year and was on parole.

Investigators got a tip from East Coventry Police she may be their suspect.

Limerick and Upper Providence Police served a search warrant at her parent's home where she lived and allegedly found some of the stolen goods.

In a few of the alleged crimes, McCormick went to the open houses with another female.

"We've gotten no cooperation from the suspects. We know there is at least one, maybe two other people involved, because of different descriptions that have come in," said Sgt. Boyer.

Police want to warn anyone who may be selling a home, having an open house or even having a showing, to hide or lock away any and all valuables.

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