Police charge pair stole van, tools

The Phil­adelphia Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice has charged 38-year-old Dav­id O’Keefe of Croy­don, Bucks County, with 56 counts of theft, re­ceiv­ing stolen prop­erty, weapons, con­spir­acy and re­lated of­fenses in con­nec­tion with the al­leged theft of 31 Eco­n­oline and Chev­ro­let Ex­press con­tract­or vans. Many of the crimes oc­curred in the North­east. 

A Phil­adelphia man has been charged with par­ti­cip­at­ing in the crimes.

O’Keefe also is charged with tak­ing tools from in­side an­oth­er 19 vans, and steal­ing tools from in­side sev­er­al build­ings. O’Keefe is be­ing held on $1.1 mil­lion bail.

Eric Guerra Chacon, 37, of the 200 block of Louden St. in Phil­adelphia, is fa­cing charges for al­legedly re­ceiv­ing the stolen prop­erty from O’Keefe and at­tempt­ing to sell it.  Chacon is charged with 56 counts of re­ceiv­ing stolen prop­erty and con­spir­acy.  He turned him­self over to po­lice on May 3 and re­mains in cus­tody.

O’Keefe is ac­cused of steal­ing the vans from North and North­east Phil­adelphia, tak­ing the con­tents,  and then dump­ing the vehicles in Bucks County. He is also charged with break­ing in­to 19 oth­er vans and steal­ing the con­tents of those vans. The vehicles were stolen for their con­tents; which in­cluded as­sor­ted hand and power tools, lad­ders, elec­tron­ic equip­ment and oth­er con­struc­tion equip­ment. Once emp­tied of their con­tents, the vehicles were re­covered with­in a one-mile ra­di­us of Croy­don.

Po­lice be­lieve O’Keefe star­ted steal­ing the vans and pickup trucks last sum­mer and was mak­ing ap­prox­im­ately $400 to $600 for the con­tents in­side each vehicle.  

From Ju­ly 2012 un­til Janu­ary 2013, vans and pickup trucks that were re­por­ted stolen from Phil­adelphia were re­covered by Bris­tol Po­lice in Croy­don. The locks and ig­ni­tions in all of the vehicles had been dam­aged.

The ar­rests of O’Keefe and  Guerra Chacon were the res­ult of a multi-jur­is­dic­tion­al in­vest­ig­a­tion by the Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­part­ment’s Ma­jor Crimes Auto Squad, Bris­tol Town­ship Po­lice and Ben­s­alem Town­ship Po­lice. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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