Homeless man charged in Collingswood home invasion, burglaries

COLLINGSWOOD, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A homeless man has been charged in connection with a Collingswood home invasion and arson that left two people injured over the weekend.

According to the Camden County Prosecutor's Office, 36-year-old Bernard Miller is facing a slew of charges including attempted murder, arson and robbery.

Miller is accused of breaking into a home on Sunday on the 200 block of Crestmont Terrace. He then allegedly attacked one victim, tied up another and set the home on fire.

Miller is also accused of two burglaries that happened the day before.

Word quickly spread of the arrest in the violent home invasion and arson case.

"It's a huge relief," said resident Peggy Matthews. "To know that someone is caught is just huge."

Investigators say a couple offering a man a glass of water, they thought was doing construction work in the area, got taken by surprise once the suspect got in their home.

"He pulled a mask and gloves on and started taking out a knife. (He) told them to get on the floor and demanded money," said Colby Gallagher with the Camden County Prosecutor's Office.

Investigators said Miller tied the pair up, repeatedly stabbed one of the occupants and then set the house on fire.

"The man responsible lit toilet paper on fire, different roles of toilet paper and set them throughout the home," Gallagher said.

Police credit neighborhood cooperation and surveillance video from businesses and homes in helping track Miller down to a homeless shelter in Camden, where they also found some of the stolen items taken from the 400 block of Champion Avenue.

"It really was a collaborate effort that lead to a quick resolution," said Collingswood Police Chief Kevin Carey.

Miller could be facing more charges for a break-in reported in the 400 block of Virginia Avenue.

A motive is still being investigated.

As for the victims in the Crestmont Terrace case, one is still receiving treatment, the other has been released from the hospital.
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