A burglar who stole money from a discount department store's safe was tracked down by a combination of surveillance video and detective work, officials said.
Richard Weatherspoon stole about $1,000 in cash from a safe in the Dollar Store at 1854 Stefko Boulevard, Bethlehem, sometime between 11:15 p.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, officials said.
After prying open the front door of the store, Weatherspoon drilled holes in the safe and then used a saw to finish the job and get at the money, officials said.
Several Dollar Tree stores in Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe counties were burglarized in the same manner since last Dec. 21, officials noted, and a surveillance video at the time a Dollar Tree in Whitehall Township, Lehigh Co., was burglarized showed a person getting into Jeep Grand Cherokee with a discolored door.
Three hours after the Dollar Store burglary in Bethlehem, Allentown police found a gray 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee with a black driver's side door registered to Weatherspoon, officials said.
After Weatherspoon was stopped for driving with a suspended license, police found various tools, including a drill, drill bits, gloves, a crowbar and hammer, as well as $451 in cash in his Jeep, and he eventually admitted to burglarizing the Dollar Tree in Bethlehem, officials said.
Weatherspoon, 42, of 116 North 4th St., Allentown, was arraigned Friday evening on charges of burglary and theft and committed to the Northampton County Prison on $50,000 bail, according to court documents.
A preliminary hearing is set for 9 a.m. July 19.