2 charged with breaking into vehicles in Mont Clare

UPPER PROVIDENCE — A township resident is credited with helping police locate two alleged car thieves.

James Moonan, who lives in the 200 block of Jacobs Street in the Mont Clare section, sighted two men entering cars on the street near his residence around 12:11 a.m. July 24, according to court documents. Moonan called the police before going outside and shouting out to the two men, “I called the cops; there’s nowhere to run,” according to court documents.

The two suspects, later identified as Jonathan Michael Stefanowski, 24, of Phoenixville, and John Adam Gill, 18, of Upper Providence, turned and ran into the nearby St. Michael Park at the end of Jacobs Street, according to court documents. In the process of fleeing, one of the men broke a wooden fence post, court documents said.

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Moonan told police that $2 in change was missing from his blue Oldsmobile Delta 88, which was parked outside of his home during the incident, court documents said.

Responding police officer Enright saw two individuals who matched the description of the suspects given by Moonan at the intersection of Jacobs Street and Bridge Street, according to court documents. The men were detained and Moonan was brought to the area and positively identified the men as the two suspects he witnessed breaking into vehicles, court documents said. Stefanowski and Gill were taken to the Upper Providence Police Department for questioning around 12:54 a.m., court documents said. Gill initially told police his name was Christopher Gernian.

Stefanowski allegedly admitted to conspiring with Gill to enter the cars and take anything of value. While Stefanowski walked down the westbound side of the street, Gill walked down the eastbound side, pulling on door handles to find unlocked vehicles, court documents state.

Stefanowski admitted he attempted to enter 10 cars, taking a GPS, and ditching it when the two ran from Moonan, according to court documents. He could not say how many cars Gill allegedly entered, court documents state.

Gill allegedly admitted entering one truck but couldn’t recall the number of vehicles he attempted to enter, court documents state. Gill allegedly admitted that he intended to take items from the vehicles but found nothing he wanted, according to court documents.

Stefanowski claimed the vehicle break-ins were “mostly Gill’s idea” while Gill said it was a mutually conceived plan.

Gill is charged with theft from a motor vehicle, false identification to law enforcement, conspiracy to commit theft from a motor vehicle, and loitering and prowling at night time, all misdemeanors.

He was arraigned on July 24 at 3 p.m. by District Judge Edward C. Kropp. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Aug. 7 at 9 a.m. before Kropp.

He is being held in Montgomery County Prison in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

Stefanowski is charged with theft from a motor vehicle, conspiracy to commit theft from a motor vehicle, loitering and prowling at night, and receiving stolen property. He was arraigned before Kropp on July 24 and has a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 7 at 9 a.m. before Kropp.

He is being held in lieu of $10,000 cash bail in Montgomery County Prison.