NORRISTOWN – A Skippack man is headed to jail in connection with numerous residential break-ins in the Perkiomen Valley area, burglaries that netted him about $28,400 in stolen goods.
Benjamin Troy Lopez, 21, of the 1000 block of Cemetery Road, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 11½ to 23 months in the county jail, to be followed by eight years of probation, after he pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of burglary and attempted burglary in connection with break-ins that occurred between February and June 2013.
Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy also ordered Lopez to pay $28,394 in restitution to the victims of the burglaries. The burglaries or attempted burglaries occurred at residences in Schwenksville Borough and Limerick, Skippack, Perkiomen, Upper Salford, Lower Frederick and West Norriton townships.
As a condition of the sentence, the judge ordered that Lopez, formerly of the 100 block of Elio Circle, Trappe, be evaluated for addiction. Upon his release from jail, Lopez is to be paroled directly to an inpatient drug treatment program, the judge said.
An investigation began when state police at Skippack, in conjunction with several municipal police departments, examined the similarities between multiple burglaries that occurred in the Perkiomen Valley region between February and June 2013. Homeowners reported that the burglar stole firearms, jewelry, cash, electronics equipment, computer games and copper piping, according to court papers.
State police were able to collect several fingerprints and a palm print from one break-in that occurred at a residence on Main Street in Schwenksville on June 15, according to the arrest affidavit. Forensic tests subsequently linked the fingerprints to Lopez.
Authorities also established that Lopez sold some of the computer games to a local game store for cash.
Lopez was apprehended about 12:30 p.m. June 21 after he attempted to burglarize a home along Williams Way in West Norriton but was interrupted by a resident of the home. When confronted by the resident, Lopez claimed to be a landscaper looking for work but then fled on a bicycle, according to the arrest affidavit filed by West Norriton Police Officer Joseph A. Renzi.
The homeowner called police, who found Lopez at the intersection of Williams Way and North Whitehall Road, where he was taken into custody. When police searched Lopez they allegedly found him in possession of a small amount of heroin, according to the criminal complaint.
When Lopez was interviewed by authorities about the burglaries, he allegedly confessed. Lopez told authorities that upon entering the homes, he would head to the master bedrooms and steal “anything gold,” according to the criminal complaint filed by state police Trooper Paul Carr.
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