An extensive investigation has led to the arrest of a 19-year-old man and his mother in connection with a rash of thefts and burglaries in Berks and Montgomery counties, police said Monday.
Myles Lee Dawson and Mellany Ann Knobl stand accused of playing a role in a series of home and business break-ins and thefts in northeastern Berks and northwestern Montgomery counties since early April, said police, who outlined the alleged crimes in court documents:
- Apr. 2, 2012: Theft of a large amount of tools from a construction project at Peerless Bouler, 131 S. Church St., Bally, Berks Co.;
- May 8, 2012: Copper pipes cut out of and stolen from a home in the first block of Hillcrest Rd., Washington Twp., Berks Co.;
- May 30, 2012: Copper pipes cut out of and stolen from pool house near Route 100 and Niantic Road in Washington Twp., Berks Co. A go-cart was later reported missing from a shed on the property;
- June 21, 2012: A large pile of copper electrical wire was stolen from the same home as May 8 break-in on Hillcrest Road in Washington Twp., Berks Co.;
- June 25, 2012: A locked gun safe and a smaller safe containing a large amount of gold, platinum and silver coins, gold jewelry, watches and approximately $3,400 in cash were taken from a home in the 1900 block of Hoffmansville Road in New Hanover Twp., Montgomery Co. Police, who found no sign of forced entry, were told that the suspect, Myles, lives with the boyfriend of the homeowner's daughter;
- July 18, 2012: Jewelry, coins, a shotgun and numerous metal antique toys and collectibles were stolen from a home in the 2100 block of Old Route 100 in Washington Twp., Berks Co.;
- July 27, 2012: Burglary in the 500 block of Elm Street in Bally, Berks Co. No report of what was taken from home;
- Unknown date: Copper stolen from property in the 100 block of 2nd Street in Green Lane, Montgomery Co.
Police later determined that Dawson sold metals to a recycling firm in Hatfield, Montgomery Co., and, on the day after the Elm Street theft, sold women's jewelry, gold, pins and coins to pawn shops or similar stores in the Harrisburg area, according to court documents.
In August, police said they learned Knobl, 39, was involved in some of the thefts and sales of stolen items, the latter for which she used a computer inside the home she shared with her son in the 200 block of North Church Street in Bally.
A subsequent search of the home turned up tools stolen in the Peerless Boiler theft on April 2, digital photos of the antique toys taken in the July 18 theft in Washington Township, and a piece of a go-cart thought to be taken during the May 30 theft in Washington Township, according to court documents.
Dawson later fled to Ecuador, but police said they convinced him to return to Pennsylvania. He and Knobl were both arraigned on charges of burglary, conspiracy, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. Both were committed to the Berks County Jail on $50,000 bail.
A third suspect is also facing charges, police said.
The Berks County district attorney's office will handle prosecution of the case.