Roy­ers­ford man charged in 17 bur­glar­ies

Au­thor­i­ties say crimes oc­curred in Ch­ester, Mont­gomery coun­ties

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Mar­ian Den­nis mden­nis@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Mar­i­anDen­nis1 on Twit­ter

Po­lice filed charges against a man who was tied to bur­glar­ies in Ch­ester and Mont­gomery coun­ties.

Po­lice filed charges against a Roy­ers­ford man Wed­nes­day af­ter they found he was tied to mul­ti­ple bur­glar­ies in Ch­ester and Mont­gomery coun­ties.

James Mur­ray, 27, was ar­rested af­ter po­lice say he was re­spon­si­ble for 17 bur­glar­ies in ar­eas in­clud­ing Lim­er­ick, Trappe, Roy­ers­ford, Perkiomen, Col­legeville, East Pike­land, North Coven­try, East Coven­try and East Vin­cent.

The to­tal amount of prop­erty stolen from the 17 homes is val­ued at $100,686 and to­tal dam­age is $15, 750, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Po­lice said in an af­fi­davit of prob­a­ble cause that Mur­ray was de­ter­mined to be a prime sus­pect in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion of these bur­glar­ies af­ter he was found to have pawned a watch from a bur­glary in the 300 block of Wart­man Road in Perkiomen that state po­lice had been in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

Po­lice said Mur­ray sold a gold and sil­ver Omega watch in Au­gust for $50 that was re­ported stolen in the bur­glary. Ap­prox­i­mately $75,000 worth of jew­elry had been stolen from the house and the watch that was re­ported stolen was val­ued at $1,650, po­lice said.

Po­lice at­tempted to make con­tact with Mur­ray on Aug. 30 af­ter they had ob­served him leav­ing a home with what ap­peared to be a filled back­pack. When po­lice at­tempted to speak with him, Mur­ray dropped the back­pack he was car­ry­ing and be­gan to run. Po­lice de­tained him and he re­sisted by push­ing and strug­gling with of­fi­cers, po­lice said.

Po­lice no­ti­fied the home­own­ers of the house where Mur­ray was seen leav­ing. The home­own­ers then con­firmed that their house had been bur­glar­ized and re­ported that jew­elry, a lap­top and money from a child’s bank had been stolen. They later con­firmed that the items from the back­pack Mur­ray was car­ry­ing be­longed to them.

The to­tal value of items stolen from the home was $1,455, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

Po­lice said a foren­sic in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Mur­ray’s cell­phone in­di­cated that he was present at all lo­ca­tions that re­ported bur­glar­ies. Ad­di­tion­ally, the af­fi­davit states, Mur­ray made 128 searches for the term “bur­glary,” in­clud­ing spe­cific searches for bur­glar­ies in Trappe, North Coven­try, Phoenixville, Sch­wenksville, Pottstown, Col­legeville, Lim­er­ick and Up­per Prov­i­dence. A search was also made for pawn shops within the Pottstown area.

Mur­ray has been charged with bur­glary, crim­i­nal tres­pass­ing, theft, re­ceiv­ing stolen prop­erty, crim­i­nal mis­chief and re­sist­ing ar­rest. He was ar­raigned on Oct. 19 be­fore Mag­is­te­rial District Judge Al­bert J. Au­gus­tine and is sched­uled for a pre­lim­i­nary hear­ing on Oct. 25 again be­fore Au­gus­tine. He was un­able to post the set $40,000 bail and is be­ing held at Mont­gomery County Cor­rec­tional Fa­cil­ity.

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