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Police: Man claims to be looking for lost child, uses ruse to break into homes

Published On: Mar 27 2013 08:00:00 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 27 2013 11:20:58 PM EDT

A man is behind bars after allegedly knocking on doors and saying he was looking for three missing kids.

A man is behind bars after allegedly knocking on doors and saying he was looking for three missing kids. But police in Montgomery County said it was all a ruse he used to break into homes

Police cars were all over a quiet neighborhood in Lower Pottsgrove Township Wednesday morning. Joann and Dale McCauley live nearby.

"Both of these entrances were blocked off," said Dale McCauley pointing to the beginning of Crestwood Drive, a horseshoe shaped street.

The police chief explained what brought them out.

"What came in initially was a suspicious person," said Lower Pottsgrove police chief Michael Foltz, "They had a male subject that was ringing doorbells banging and kicking in doors at the backdoor of the residence."

Police said the man lived in the neighborhood.

"Our officers arrived there found the male subject and questioned, who at that point reported he was frantically looking for three lost children that were left in his care the ages 6 and two of them the age was 7, claimed they were nephews," said Foltz, "When you are dealing with children and missing children especially under circumstances like these there's only a small window of time to find them without being injured or harmed."

The neighborhood on Crestwood Drive is filled with people who've lived in their homes for years. And some of them said they're happy with the police response.

"It's good that they did act like that. They hear stuff. They're not just going to brush it off that they're going to come and investigate," said Joann McCauley.

Police said it took them about an hour and a half to figure out 21-year-old Emmanuel Gerao's story didn't add up.

"Then turned out he confessed that he had lied about this," said Foltz, "Made it up to cover for the crime spree he was involved in at the time."

Police said Gerao broke into at least one home and attempted to break into two more.

"This is a very common scheme we're seeing with drug addicted individuals," said Foltz, "What they're doing is they are approaching homes, knocking, pretending to be a solicitor, or coming up with some type of a ruse such as a lost dog. In this case it was lost children."

After an overwhelming response, police said they're still glad children were not involved.