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.