Action News Exclusive: Philadelphia police arrest suspect in string of car break-ins

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Police arrest suspect in several car break-ins: Chad Pradelli reports on Action News at 11 p.m., January 21, 2019

Philadelphia police have arrested a suspect in a one-man crime wave that saw at least a dozen cars broken into dating back to last month.

Only Action News was there as Major Crimes investigators served a search warrant on the 11000 block of Corry Road Monday evening in Northeast Philadelphia.

Their month-long investigation into a string of car break-ins led them to the home of suspect Matthew Schwartz.

Inside the home, police found, among other items, the stolen Christmas gifts of an East Torresdale family.

"I just couldn't believe someone could do that on Christmas Eve," said victim Amanda.

In surveillance video from the break-in, Amanda says you can see the suspect break into her car, then do the same to her husband's.

"My kids were definitely upset, so it was hard," she said.

As the investigators remained at the suspect's home, they spoke to Schwartz's girlfriend and continued to look for any of the goods allegedly stolen in the car break-ins.

Police ended up loading a pickup of suspected stolen items, from rifles to contractor tools.

"He was hurting a lot of people. He wrecked a few livelihoods because he was taking tools from vans and other trucks and work vans and stuff like that," said Philadelphia Police Capt. John Ryan.

During our exclusive access, Action News rode along with Major Crimes investigators as they tailed Schwartz and then moved in to arrest him just off I-95 at Allegheny Avenue Monday.

Schwartz' truck had the same large RIDGID Tool Box in the pickup bed that was captured on surveillance of some of the alleged crimes.

He had a few words when he was apprehended.

"I never stole from any kids. Never," said Schwartz.

Police said Schwartz has a long history of similar crimes, and steals to feed his drug habit.

He is also a suspect in a slew of break-ins in Bucks County, as well.

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