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Police: Serial burglar, 17, nabbed in Berks County

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 20 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 21 2012 04:26:45 AM CST

Police: Serial burglar, 17, nabbed

BERN TWP., Pa. -

A 17-year-old boy from Reading has been collared and charged with several burglaries in Bern Township, Berks Co., police said.

The teenager, whose name authorities are not releasing, has been charged as a juvenile, police said.

But some homeowners say charging the teen as a minor is the equivalent to a slap on the wrist.

"The whole neighborhood is upset about this," said Tom Devine, neighbor, "and everybody's on edge."

One of the teen's victims, investigators said, was a 92-year-old woman who lives along South Tulpehocken Road.

At the end of October, the teen burglar cut the power to the elderly woman's home, entered undetected, demanded money, and escaped with jewelry, investigators said.

Neighbors say the 92-year-old woman hasn't been the same since.

"When some other neighbors invited her for Thanksgiving, she's afraid to come," said Devine. "She's afraid to leave her house. That's how bad this is."

Police have linked the 17-year-old to other burglaries in the area: one in the 2000 block of Mayo Drive in July, and another in the 300 block of Seitz Road back in September.

Neighbors say they are now calling on authorities to charge the 17-year-old, not as a juvenile, but as an adult.

"This kid should be put in jail for a very long time for what he did to a very elderly lady who is just the kindest person in the world," Devine said.

"I hope that he gets due to him whatever is deserved," Linda Miller said.

Assistance from neighbors and information from Crime Alert: Berks County also played a role in the arrest of the teenage suspect, investigators said.

If you have any information about a crime in your area, you can make an anonymous call to Crime Alert: Berks County at 877-373-9913.

You could earn a reward for information that leads to an arrest.