Whitemarsh Township police arrest man for 71 car break-ins

WHITEMARSH TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Officers in Whitemarsh Township arrested a man who they believe is responsible for 71 car break-ins last month in multiple train station parking lots.

Whitemarsh Township Police Chief Christopher Wards said Zachary Righter is the man behind all of the crimes.

"We got him. This is highly unusual for someone to break into 71 cars," said Ward.

Ward says between December 2 and January 1, his department and neighboring police agencies received over 70 reports of vehicles being broken into. Items like credit cards and other valuables were stolen during the crimes.

According to authorities, Righter dropped evidence and property during the break-ins.

"He also left DNA evidence on scene of some of the areas," said Ward.

Police said the crimes were not your typical smash-and-grab. They said the suspect would use bike trails next to the SEPTA train station, target vehicles and then make his getaway.

"Mr. Righter would travel along the bike trail via bicycle, enter into the train stations where cars are parked for an extended period of time and then he'd move on to the next train station," said Ward.

Police say the Schuykill River Bike Trail connects all three train stations that Righter targeted, including Conshohocken, Spring Mill and Miquon Train Stations for SEPTA's Manayunk/Norristown Line.

Police said in one area, Righter targeted nearly 20 vehicles.

"We were highly surprised, especially by the number and the fact that there were many that happened one night...breaking windows makes noise it's not very subtle," said Ward.

Righter will make a court appearance on January 22.

Investigators are working to see if he is connected to any more break-ins across the area.
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