LIMERICK — After an 11-month investigation, police have charged two people in connection with a string of burglaries that stretched across two states and totaled more than $150,000 in losses.
Eric Lamont Adkins, 34, of Philadelphia, and Alma Denis Colon-Perez, 36, of Reading, allegedly committed approximately 20 burglaries in Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties in Pennsylvania as well as Gloucester and Burlington counties in New Jersey since February 2013, according to the Limerick Township Police Department.
During an investigation, police determined a pattern and uncovered similarities in the crimes which led them to charge Adkins and Colon-Perez.
The affidavit of probable cause filed by Limerick police states “large amounts of jewelry, collectible coins, currency, firearms, and electronics,” were taken from homes that were isolated and not easily seen from the street.
Adkins and Colon-Perez would allegedly gain access to the homes by prying open windows or doors in the back of the houses, police said.
In all the burglaries, Adkins and Colon-Perez would take a pillowcase from one or more bedrooms and use them to carry the stolen items from the houses.
According to police, the pair stole $168,068.06 worth of items.
The investigation started in February of last year, but police said little was known about the burglaries until April 18, 2013.
On that day, police said, a resident interrupted a burglary in progress in the 100 block of Benner Road in Limerick Township.
Around 12:22 p.m., the homeowner’s son arrived at the house to find a dark green 2001 Chevrolet Silverado extended cab pick-up truck in the driveway, police said.
According to the victim, the truck had damage to the front quarter panel and a broken side mirror was in the bed of the truck.
When the victim entered the house, he told police he heard noises upstairs and as he walked to the bedroom, he saw a man standing in the room.
The man, now identified as Adkins, jumped out a window and drove away in the truck.
Police said the victim took several pictures, including the registration of the truck.
That house on Benner Road was the second burglary on that street, according to police. Because of that, the description of the truck and the registration were dispatched to other local police departments.
Police discovered the truck, as well as a black Lexus also seen at other burglaries, belonged to Colon-Perez. Police identified the truck as the vehicle used during burglaries in Muhlenberg and Exeter townships as well.
The Lexus, according to police, was seen at the scene of daytime burglaries in Amity, Limerick and Ontelaunee townships.
Less than 12 hours after the Benner Road burglary, officers from the Reading Police Department located the green pick-up truck.
According to police there was, “a piece of pipe lying in the bed of the truck that was approximately 18 inches long and black in color. There was an additional three pieces of pipe in the interior of the truck lying on the back seat behind the driver’s seat. All of these pieces appeared to be crimped on the edges.”
Police said these pieces of pipe could be used to pry open doors and windows.
An Amity Police officer reported seeing the black Lexus at the Wawa on East Benjamin Franklin Highway for several hours the day before the April 18 burglary, police said.
According to that officer, a man got out of the car and was met by a woman driving an orange Honda Element. The pair, now identified as Colon-Perez and Adkins, drove away in the Honda.
On May 10, a Pennsylvania State Trooper and an officer from the Limerick Police Department interviewed Colon-Perez but she denied any involvement in the alleged crimes and told police Adkins was her former boyfriend who is unemployed and has a drug problem.
She did admit to being at the Amity gas station but told police she was driving Adkins to New Jersey because he was “doped out.”
However, her initial denial of being connected to the crimes was disproved once police obtained cell phone records and a detective from the Montgomery County Detective Bureau completed a cell tower map.
With the records and the maps, police were able to determine that both Colon-Perez and Adkins were within five miles of the burglaries. The phone records also showed series of phone calls between the two around the time of the burglaries.
The investigation came to a head when officers from the Tredyffrin Township Police Department recovered stolen jewelry on November 13.
According to police, a house in the 500 block of Woodlea Lane was burglarized. Approximately $70,000 worth of jewelry and electronics were taken from the house.
Police were able to trace the stolen items using tracking software in a Dell laptop to a house in Camden, New Jersey.
On November 13, police encountered Colon-Perez at the house in Camden where she claimed a duffle bag full of jewelry was hers. The officers confiscated the jewelry and showed it to the Tredyffrin homeowner who was able to identify several items.
After the evidence was compiled, police charged Colon-Perez and Adkins.
Colon-Perez, who faces 22 felony counts of burglary and theft, was arraigned Thursday by District Judge Walter F. Gadzicki Jr. She posted 10 percent of her $25,000 bail, according to court documents.
Adkins is currently in the Salem County Prison, according to police. He faces 119 felony charges related to burglary.
A preliminary hearing date has not been set for Colon-Perez.