Northeast Times

Alleged copper thief arrested in Wissinoming house explosion

  • The blast occurred at about 12:20 p.m. in the house at 4716 Howell St. in Wissinoming. WILLIAM KENNY / TIMES PHOTO

  • The blast occurred at about 12:20 p.m. in the house at 4716 Howell St. in Wissinoming. WILLIAM KENNY / TIMES PHOTO

  • The blast occurred at about 12:20 p.m. in the house at 4716 Howell St. in Wissinoming. WILLIAM KENNY / TIMES PHOTO

  • The blast occurred at about 12:20 p.m. in the house at 4716 Howell St. in Wissinoming. WILLIAM KENNY / TIMES PHOTO

  • The blast occurred at about 12:20 p.m. in the house at 4716 Howell St. in Wissinoming. WILLIAM KENNY / TIMES PHOTO

  • The blast occurred at about 12:20 p.m. in the house at 4716 Howell St. in Wissinoming. WILLIAM KENNY / TIMES PHOTO

Bail has been set at $200,000 for the al­leged cop­per thief ac­cused of trig­ger­ing a nat­ur­al gas ex­plo­sion in a va­cant Wissi­nom­ing house on Saturday.

Au­thor­it­ies iden­ti­fied the sus­pect as Mi­chael Migli­ac­cio, 35, of the 4800 block of Van Kirk St. Migli­ac­cio is a re­gistered sex of­fend­er and has an ex­tens­ive crim­in­al his­tory, ac­cord­ing to court re­cords. He is also known by the ali­as Joseph Ru­mor.

Migli­ac­cio al­legedly broke in­to an un­oc­cu­pied single home at 4716 How­ell St. on Saturday morning and disconnected a gas line while attempting to steal the pipes. The resulting gas leak caused an explosion about 12:20 p.m. that leveled the three-story residence and forced the evacuation of the surrounding city block for more than two hours.

No ser­i­ous in­jur­ies were re­por­ted, but mul­tiple homes nearby sus­tained dam­age. Fire­fight­ers were first on the scene and ini­tially sprayed the pile of rubble with wa­ter, al­though no flames were re­por­ted.

Neigh­bors told po­lice they had seen a man at the home that morn­ing. They iden­ti­fied the sus­pect as Migli­ac­cio. Po­lice loc­ated and de­tained him with­in hours of the blast. The Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice charged him with caus­ing or risk­ing a cata­strophe, burg­lary, tres­passing, mis­chief, theft, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and con­spir­acy.

Au­thor­it­ies have an­nounced no oth­er ar­rests, al­though po­lice are in­vest­ig­at­ing the pos­sib­il­ity that an­oth­er per­son may have been in­volved in the caper. Migli­ac­cio re­mains in jail and is sched­uled for a pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing on July 23.

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

comments powered by Disqus