Two charged with multiple car burglaries

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. ••

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