Northeast Times

Two jewelry store thieves nabbed, third on the loose

Po­lice in two counties have ar­res­ted a couple of al­leged jew­elry thieves from the North­east who may be re­spons­ible for steal­ing mer­chand­ise worth more than $100,000 from sub­urb­an de­part­ment stores. Mean­while, a third al­leged con­spir­at­or re­mains on the loose.

Ben­s­alem Town­ship cops are lead­ing the in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to a series of brazen heists at area stores late last month. On Feb. 25, the crooks struck at Sears at Ne­sham­iny Mall when one of the men went to the jew­elry de­part­ment, cut a cable at­tached to a counter-top dis­play case, placed the case in­to a shop­ping cart and walked out of the store to a wait­ing pickup truck.

Sim­il­ar thefts oc­curred on Feb. 25 at Kmart at 176 W. Street Road in Feasterville and on Feb. 27 at Sears at Ox­ford Val­ley Mall in Middletown Town­ship. Ac­cord­ing to news re­ports, an­oth­er jew­elry theft oc­curred at a Wal­mart in Phil­adelphia, per­haps on Feb. 19, but po­lice have not con­firmed the spe­cif­ic loc­a­tion. In sev­er­al of the in­cid­ents, the crooks were seen op­er­at­ing a red pickup truck, pos­sibly a Nis­san with a li­cense plate start­ing with “ZC.”

On March 5, Ben­s­alem po­lice re­portedly ar­res­ted Mark Donato, 27, in con­nec­tion with the thefts. They did not spe­cify the cir­cum­stances of the ar­rest. That even­ing, Phil­adelphia po­lice spot­ted a truck match­ing the de­scrip­tion of the crooks’ vehicle near Ara­mingo and Castor av­en­ues in Port Rich­mond. Chief In­sp. Scott Small said that there were two oc­cu­pants of the truck. As of­ficers tried to stop it, the driver sped away.

After a short pur­suit, the truck stopped on the 2300 block of Cam­bria St., where the oc­cu­pants ex­ited the vehicle and ran. One of the sus­pects got away, but po­lice caught the oth­er one, who was iden­ti­fied as James Mc­Grath, 40.

As the North­east Times went to press, form­al charges had not been filed against either man, who were be­ing held in Bucks County Pris­on without bail. ••

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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