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. ••