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Police: 2 arrested for series of car thefts, fires in Kenhorst last year

Published On: Dec 12 2012 01:32:38 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 13 2012 06:10:54 AM EST

Two men charged in connection with arson spree


Two Reading men are being called the masterminds behind a year-old arson spree in Kenhorst, Berks Co.

"I feel now the community is a little safer," said Don Frankhouser, whose car was set on fire last year.

You could call it an early Christmas present for Frankhouser. It's the news he and many residents in the borough have been waiting to hear for more than a year.


Charges were filed Wednesday against 23-year-old Jonathan Castro and 19-year-old Jonathan Montanez.

Both men are from Cotton Street in Reading, and both are accused of wreaking havoc against seven homeowners in Kenhorst.

"We don't bother nobody, for them to come and try and destroy our way of life, hopefully they get their just due," said Frankhouser.

The crime spree happened September 13, 2011. Seven vehicles in the borough were broken into and intentionally set on fire, said police.

It's a sight Dominic Periandi still cannot forget.

"I looked out the front door and I saw the flames coming out of the windshield," said Periandi, who remembers his Ford Focus burning in his driveway.

Periandi thought his home was going to blow up. A year later, he's thankful the alleged culprits are off the streets.

"I think it's great, I think the police department is doing a terrific job," said Periandi.

Both suspects have prior charges against them, said police.

One incident led to the next, and Reading Police, West Reading and State Police were able to connect the dots to solve this arson case.

"This was a great combination of law enforcement working together to put the bad guys away," said Trooper David Beohm, PA State Police.

Both men are in custody for unrelated charges.

Castro is set to be arraigned on Friday. He is also facing charges from February of this year in connection with a string of delivery driver robberies in Reading, said officials.

Montanez will be charged as a juvenile since he was a minor at the time of the offense.

Damage in this case totals $26,000, and five of the seven vehicles were totaled, said police.