Cell Phone Store Burglars Caught by Digital Tracking, Jailed
Ashley Hicks and John Mathis started their morning apparently with a plan; to break into a local cell phone store, and steal anything they could get their hands on. The plan, however, had one major loophole…
The two were arrested, charged and jailed Thursday after breaking into the Metro PCS store 230 block of Bristol Pike, early this morning and unwittingly assisted police with securing their arrests.
Hicks, 32 of Bristol and Mathis 31, or Fairless Hills were arraigned by District Judge Frank W. Peranteau Sr on multiple felony burglary and theft counts.
Peranteau set bail for each at 10 percent of $40,000 and they were sent to Bucks County Correctional Facility.
Borough Police were dispatched just after 7 am for a break-in report, according to the criminal complaint.
Police on scene observed the front door to the cell phone store was ajar and forced open. Shortly thereafter police were alerted one of the stolen items from Metro were being tracked by 3SI, which provides action and intelligence to apprehend suspects through robust partnerships with law enforcement agencies in the region.
Tracking showed stolen digital items on Rt 413 becoming stationary on the 2900 block of Old Rodgers Road, according to court records.
At the same time, a clerk for the cell phone store reviewed for police what was stolen; cash, tablets and cell phones. Additionally the clerk cued up video surveillance showing two suspects- one woman with blonde hair, and a man who was noticeably limping, police said in court filings.
Also observed at the time of the burglary was a Chevy Equinox with a Florida registration parked out front of the store the criminal filing says.
Police were notified by the digital tracking company that the phones were moving south on 1-95. Law enforcement in Bensalem and Philadelphia were given a flash notice from the Bucks County Dispatch of the vehicle description, and registration, according to court records.
Police with guidance from the security firm continued to track the suspects via the stolen merchandise on I-95 and were subsequently notified Philadelphia Police from the 15th District had taken the suspects into custody via a car stop.
Bristol Borough Detective William Davis and officer Dino Lepore met with a trio of Philadelphia Police officers on the 6200 block of Torresdale Avenue, and the suspects to identify them.
Hicks allegedly told police her name was “Kayla”, which according to court records ,was charged for one count of false swearing to a police officer.
Police noted that within plain view in the suspect’s vehicle were a number of T-Mobile/Metro PCS boxes and sim cards.
The suspects vehicle was towed by Lynch Collision for evidentiary purposes, said police.
The Metro PCS remained closed for the day and is expected to be closed on Friday. A store official recommended customers visit their Levittown outlet until the site reopens.
This is the second burglary arrest made within hours of the alleged crime being committed by Borough Police since August.
Sgt Chuck Palmer caught a would-be burglar, Francis Caputo, 59, of Shavertown coming out of the Mavis Tire Center, 95 Commerce Circle on August 25.
Hicks and Mathis are jointly scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Bristol Borough District Court on October 19 to explain how they set up their own arrests.
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