Police filed charges against a Royersford man Wednesday after they found he was tied to multiple burglaries in Chester and Montgomery counties.
James Murray, 27, was arrested after police say he was responsible for 17 burglaries in areas including Limerick, Trappe, Royersford, Perkiomen, Collegeville, East Pikeland, North Coventry, East Coventry and East Vincent.
The total amount of property stolen from the 17 homes is valued at $100,686 and total damage is $15, 750, according to police.
Police said in an affidavit of probable cause that Murray was determined to be a prime suspect in the investigation of these burglaries after he was found to have pawned a watch from a burglary on the 300 block of Wartman Road in Perkiomen that state police had been investigating.
Police said Murray sold a gold and silver Omega watch in August for $50 that was reported stolen in the burglary. Approximately $75,000 worth of jewelry had been stolen from the house and the watch that was reported stolen was valued at $1,650, police said.
Police attempted to make contact with Murray on Aug. 30 after they had observed him leaving a home with what appeared to be a filled backpack. When police attempted to speak with him, Murray dropped the backpack he was carrying and began to run. Police detained him and he resisted by pushing and struggling with officers, police said.
Police notified the homeowners of the house where Murray was seen leaving. The homeowners then confirmed that their house had been burglarized and reported that jewelry, a laptop and money from a child’s bank had been stolen. They later confirmed that the items from the backpack Murray was carrying belonged to them.
The total value of items stolen from the home was $1,455, according to police.
Police said a forensic investigation of Murray’s cell phone indicated that he was present at all locations that reported burglaries. Additionally, the affidavit states, Murray made 128 searches for the term “burglary,” including specific searches for burglaries in Trappe, North Coventry, Phoenixville, Schwenksville, Pottstown, Collegeville, Limerick and Upper Providence. A search was also made for pawn shops within the Pottstown area.
Murray has been charged with burglary, criminal trespassing, theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief and resisting arrest. He was arraigned on Oct. 19 before District Judge Albert J. Augustine and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 25 again before Augustine. He was unable to post the set $40,000 bail and is being held at Montgomery County Correctional Facility.