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Upper Macungie Township Police Department
Thursday July 9th, 2009 :: 05:49 p.m. EDT



The following is for public information.

*The following email is a TRUE story from a neighboring police jurisdiction. Please read the email completely, and if possible, share with friends and family. Perhaps you can save a loved one from such a nightmare. Remember, this incident occurred within a short radius of our police jurisdiction.

- Officer Peter Nickischer

Residential Burglary – Victim (72 year old female) reported the following stolen: Safe, approx. $100,000.00, jewelry and paperwork.

July 1, 2009 approx. 1843 hrs a white male knocked on the front door of the victim’s residence. She subsequently answered the door and spoke with the male while standing on the front porch. The subject told her the following: I was trying to get a hold of you this morning. I wanted to talk to you about your lot (property). The neighbors want to put a fence up and we need to check the boundary lines. As she spoke with this subject, she noticed the white van parked in her driveway (facing the residence). The van appeared to be occupied by an additional two male subjects. These two subjects remained inside the van, while she spoke with the first subject on the front porch. The size and make of the van is unknown.

Victim assumed that the subject she was speaking with on the porch was a contractor that legitimately needed to check the property for the fence installation. She subsequently agreed to go to the back of the home to show the subject where the property line is located. The subject remained outside and walked around the westside of the residence to the backyard. Victim walked through the residence to get to her backyard. She advised that she pushed the front door shut; however, believes that she did not fully close and secure the door.

She and the first male subject subsequently continued their conversation at the northwest corner of the property (backyard). She could not see the van or the other two males from this location. She added that during the continued conversation she did not get a good look at the first male subject's face. She had her attention directed to the ground, attempting to find the metal property stakes. She did notice that this male subject was wearing red gloves (possible leather), and assumed that they were work gloves.

This first subject continued to make small talk with her about the fence and what type he will be installing. As he was speaking with her, the subject's cell phone began to ring. He answered it and began to speak about a metal detector. The phone call was brief and the subject told her that his “buddy” (i.e., co-worker in the van) is looking for the metal detector to help find the boundary pin/stake. The subject then continued his conversation with her about the fence. At this time, she was able to hear her dog (i.e., older poodle) barking inside the home. She did not think anything of this, as she assumed that the dog was barking because she and the subject were outside. The subject's cell phone then rang a second time. The subject answered, and then told her “my buddy wants me for something; I'll be back in about 10 minutes”.

Victim advised that the first subject gave her the impression that the other worker needed help finding the metal detector. She subsequently waited a few minutes in the back yard. She then walked to the back door, to enter her residence. At that time, she found that the back door was now closed and locked. She eventually located her spare key, which she keeps hidden on the back porch. She then walked through the home to the front door. She found that the van and the subject she spoke with were gone.

Items that were in the safe are as follows:
$100,00.00 in cash (life savings) - mostly denominations of $100 and $50 dollar bills.
Gold Bolivia Watch - The watch has an inscription on the backside, which bears the name “Beverly Ebert” and a date containing the year “1957” and some small amount of jewelry.
Some paperwork for funeral arrangements and tax records were also inside the safe.
Safe - The safe is medium gray in color with a combination lock and a lever. The safe is approx. one foot in width and two feet in height. This may be the serial number for the safe; however, the brand is not known. The serial number is “A055584”.

Vehicle was described as a newer (rounded) model mini-van… white in color with windows on the sides. No ladder or roof rack on the vehicle. No markings; logos; or damage observed on the vehicle.

First subject (who actually spoke with Victim) was described as a w/m (early to mid 50's). Victim described this male as possibly being of Italian decent. She also added that the subject had no distinct accent. The subject had dark brown hair that was described as “messy”/uncombed on top. The hair length was approx. down past the ears. Subject was reportedly 5'2” to 5'4” tall; stalky build (approx. 160 lbs.). Subject may have been wearing black rim glasses. Subject was wearing white pants and red leather gloves.

One of the subjects inside the van was seated in the driverseat. This subject was described as a w/m (dark hair). Victim never observed this subject outside the van; however, could see a portion of him seated in the car. She believes that this subject is heavyset (possibly weighing over 300 lbs.).

Any information please contact the Northern Berks Regional Police Department 610-926-2999.

Det. Sgt. Brian Horner
Northern Berks Regional Police
37 Ontelaunee Drive
Reading, PA 19605

Upper Macungie Township Police Department
37 Grim Road
Breinigsville, PA 18031

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 484-661-5911

Peter Nickischer
Crime Prevention

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