Philadelphia police are looking for the owners of more than $100,000 worth of electronic equipment, computers, cameras, power tools, musical instruments and other property after arresting two Northeast men Thursday for dozens of automobile break-ins.
Michael Mager, 31, of the 6600 block of Jackson St. in Tacony, and Ryan Shantz, 30, of the 4400 block of Pearson Ave. in Torresdale, were each charged with 61 counts of theft from vehicle.
Police claim the suspects targeted parked, unattended cars in the 7th and 8th police districts in the Far Northeast, as well as neighboring Bensalem Township in Bucks County, during a period of at least three months.
The men then sold the items to a “fencing” operation at the Cash for Gold store, 6907 Torresdale Ave., police said.
Armed with search warrants, police raided the business and recovered the items allegedly brought to the store by Mager and Shantz. The objects also included GPS devices, video game systems, air conditioners, snow blowers, mobile telephones, pressure washers, lawn equipment and ladders.
Authorities have not implicated the business as part of a conspiracy. It is not known if the business operators were aware that the items had been stolen.
On Friday, Saturday and Monday, Philadelphia police showed the recovered items publicly at their major crime division headquarters, 4298 Macalester St., in hope of linking the suspects to additional thefts.
Both suspects remain in jail. Shantz is at Philadelphia’s Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in lieu of 10 percent of $2,500 bail.
He was arrested March 10 for retail theft, but prosecutors later withdrew the case. He was then arrested for theft, receiving stolen property and criminal mischief on April 16 and is scheduled for a trial on Aug. 31 in that case.
Mager is behind bars at Bucks County Prison, court records show. His bail information was unavailable.
He was arrested for aggravated assault on Jan. 23 and is awaiting an Aug. 17 preliminary hearing. The alleged victim in the case has failed to show up at two prior court listings.
Police in the Far Northeast have reported dramatic increases in theft-from-auto cases in recent months and have repeatedly issued warnings to the public about the dangers of leaving valuable items in unattended cars.
Victims of unsolved theft-from-auto cases in the Northeast or Bensalem are encouraged to contact the major crimes auto squad at 215-685-9130. ••