Burglary spree has Delaware Co. neighborhood on alert

HAVERFORD TWP., Pa. - December 31, 2013

Police say the burglar has been on a rampage in late December.

No one has been physically injured or even confronted by the man, but the entire town is on alert and on edge.

As Lex Maillie and his grandchildren walk their Haverford Township neighborhood Tuesday, he is mindful that a relentless burglar who has turned the end of the year into a nightmare for many residents.

A total of 12 home break-ins have occurred since December 19th.

"You're afraid to leave your house; you don't know what's going to happen. You just have to be vigilant," said Maillie.

Mostly jewelry and small items were taken, things that can be sold off quickly for cash. Police say that is symptomatic of a drug addict; probably heroin.

Plainclothes officers are on the case as well as beefed up patrols. Eleven cases remain unsolved, and police believe they all may have been done by one man.

"The some M.O., going through windows and back doors. We're all looking for him, and sooner or later he's going to pop up," said Haverford Township Police Chief John Viola.

The burglary spree has taken place in what is knows the township's Pennfield section; the 8th Ward, a roughly two square mile residential area traditionally quiet and relatively crime free.

The neighbors in the section bordering City Avenue are on the alert.

"We're very sure that we lock the doors when we're in the house," said Frances Ranft. "And we also lock the doors if we are working outside in the front so that they don't come in the back door."

"We are a pretty tight community here, and a pretty tight neighborhood. I do some patrol and some of the other neighbors do too. We will eventually get them, we eventually will. We have hope," said Lisa Grofalo.

Police say the suspect generally strikes between 4 and 8 in the evening. They say no one has been able to give a good description, but they know he drives a green car.

"That's all we have on him… and large feet. The footprints that we have, the person has large feet," said Chief Viola.

Police are asking anyone with information to contact them right away. Or if you see anything suspicious to call 911 right away.

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