Drive-thru burglar strikes multiple area fast-food restaurants

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Drive-thru burglar hits multiple area fast-food restaurants: Sarah Bloomquist reports on Action News at 5 p.m., March 15, 2018 (WPVI)

Police are looking for a man they say has robbed at least four fast-food drive-thrus here in Upper Darby and Philadelphia in recent days.

One Popeye's he broke into twice. He was captured on surveillance cameras each time, but, so far that doesn't seem to deter him.

On February 20 at the Popeye's at 7500 City Avenue in Overbrook Park, police said the suspect used a tool called a ball joint fork to pry away the cash drawer from the drive-thru register.

He got away with some money. Then on March 5, he returned to the same location, but this time there was no cash in the register.

Police believe this week the suspect moved on to Upper Darby.

"In probably a 36-hour period, we had three burglaries all with the same MO," said Upper Darby Police Supt. Michael Chitwood.

Between March 12 and 13 in the overnight hours when the places were closed, the suspect broke into three other restaurants in Upper Darby- using that same fork-like tool.

He hit the Dunkin' Donuts in the 1500 block of Garrett Road and got away with $500, the McDonald's at 133 South 69th Street and got nothing, and he broke into the Taco Bell at 7500 West Chester Pike where he escaped with $300 cash. The suspect goes to great lengths to conceal his identity.

"He's like a rat," said Chitwood. "He's like a pack rat. You can't identify him in any way shape or form."

In each case, he's fled on foot.

Until he's caught, police have some advice for the owners of these fast-food spots.

"Don't leave any money in there, just take the money out," said Chitwood. "There's nobody around - there are no cleaning people so obviously he's casing the joints."

Police said they are picking up patrols and putting undercover officers out there.

Upper Darby police are working with Philadelphia police on the investigation.

They said the suspect has been very active and they have no doubt they'll catch up to him soon enough.

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