NORRISTOWN — A Pottstown man will be under court supervision for several years after he admitted to being involved in a burglary at a borough residence, apparently while on the hunt for copper wiring and pipes.
Joshua Daniel Ledford, 38, of the 100 block of Warren Street, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 11½ to 23 months in the county jail after he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of burglary in connection with an October 2019 incident in the borough.
Judge Thomas C. Branca, who accepted a plea agreement in the matter, also ordered Ledford to complete four years’ probation following parole, meaning Ledford will we under court supervision for about six years.
An investigation began about 4:27 a.m. Oct. 11, when borough police were dispatched to a residence in the unit block of North Adams Street for a report of a burglary in progress after a caller advised loud noises were coming from the residence, according to court documents.
“The owner of the property was contacted and he advised no one should be inside,” Pottstown Police Officer Jeffrey Portock wrote in the criminal complaint, adding arriving officers heard “loud bangs” coming from inside the residence.
The homeowner gave police permission to force entry into the locked residence and police entered with a K-9 unit. Once inside, officers began making announcements for anyone inside to identify themselves or they would encounter the K-9.
“After three announcements I heard a voice from inside. A short time later a male subject, later identified as Josh Ledford, came out the back door and was taken into custody,” Portock alleged in the arrest affidavit.
Ledford was found possessing a green backpack that contained numerous tools, such as wrenches, pipe cutters, bolt cutters and pry bars, according to the criminal complaint.
A second man, Jonathan P. Rober, who allegedly was inside with Ledford also was taken into custody and he was found possessing rubber gloves, two wire cutters and a knife, according to court documents. Rober, 36, also of Pottstown, is still awaiting trial on burglary-related charges, court records indicate.
During the investigation, police noticed that Ledford’s clothing was wet.
“Upon entry specifically into the basement I found severe damage to the plumbing and electrical wiring,” Portock alleged, adding police found a duffel bag in the basement that contained cut copper pipes.
There was copper piping lined up in numerous areas around the basement, police alleged.
“I could see in the ceiling where copper piping was removed. Piping was also removed from the heater located in the basement. I also noticed an excess amount of wiring that was removed and all over the floor of the basement. There was also wiring cut and hanging from the ceiling,” Portock alleged.
Police said the main electrical circuit breaker box was damaged and “every single wire coming from the box was cut and removed aside from the main coming into the house.”
“It should be noted while checking the basement I noticed that the floor was wet and water was still dripping from the pipes that were cut from the ceiling and other areas,” Portock wrote in the arrest affidavit. “It is known to me through my training and experience that people will often take this copper piping and electrical wiring to scrap yards to sell for money.”
The judge ordered restitution in the amount of $19,336, according to court records.