Man jailed for burglaries in three counties
NORRISTOWN >> The “ringleader” behind a string of more than two dozen residential burglaries that primarily targeted families of Asian descent in Montgomery, Chester and Bucks counties is on his way to state prison.
Dominic Carter, 31, of the 8400 block of Bayard Street, Philadelphia, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court to 15 to 40 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to multiple felony charges of burglary in connection with 31 residential break-ins that occurred in the three counties between July 2015 and February 2016.
The sentence was imposed by Judge William R. Carpenter, who also ordered Carter to pay $272,733 in restitution to the victims of the burglaries.
“He was the main actor in these burglaries, the ringleader. The majority of the burglaries targeted Asian families in the multiple counties. They targeted these families because they had businesses in and around Philadelphia and suspected that they had large amounts of cash and jewelry located in their homes,” said Assistant District Attorney Rachel Becker, who sought the lengthy prison term against Carter.
“With residential burglaries, it’s the biggest invasion of privacy that anyone can imagine, having a stranger come into your home and ransack your valuables and memories,” said Becker, adding the sentence is significant in that it reflects the enormous impact that Carter’s crimes had on the victims.
The burglaries occurred in Whitpain, Upper Merion, Worcester, Montgomery, Cheltenham and Abington townships in Montgomery County; in Northampton, Lower Southampton, Bensalem and Lower Makefield townships in Bucks County; and in Tredyffrin Township, Chester
County, according to court documents.
A Whitpain Township resident reported a Rolex watch valued at $20,000 and up to $100,000 in other valuables was stolen. One Northampton Township, Bucks County, resident reported $19,794 in valuables went missing from his home.
While Carter was the
leader of the burglary ring, he had assistance at times from four others, some who acted as “lookouts,” who are still awaiting court action on burglary and conspiracy related charges.
During the break-ins, the burglars targeted cash or designer handbags, collectibles and expensive jewelry, items that could be disposed of easily, either in pawn shops or selling them on the streets.
“We believe this was a crime spree fueled by greed and just a desire to take
from others,” Becker said.
During the burglaries, which usually occurred during daytime hours, Carter would often travel in a white work van and often wore hard hats and construction uniforms “to try and hide in plain sight in these neighborhoods,” Becker said. The burglars used tools to pry open doors or windows and even used a ladder to gain entry to the homes, court documents indicate.
Court documents indicate Carter had previous
burglary convictions in Philadelphia for which he served state prison time and was paroled on Aug. 28, 2014. Carter was still on parole at the time he embarked on the most recent burglary spree and his sentence for the latest crimes included a 10-year mandatory prison term because they represented a so-called second-strike offense.
Carter now faces a hearing before state parole officials and potentially faces additional prison time for violating his previous sentence.
During one burglary arrest in Philadelphia, Carter was found to be in possession of a notebook containing the names and addresses of Asian families, according to court documents.
Becker praised investigators for solving the string of burglaries.
“It was a very long investigation, a true multi-jurisdictional effort, led by Abington and Whitpain police departments. They did a fantastic job using surveillance techniques and other investigative techniques to track down who was responsible for these burglaries,” said Becker.
Detectives, according to court papers, were able to link Carter’s cellphone to being in the area of the burglaries at the times they occurred. Detectives also had surveillance camera footage that assisted them in identifying the van that was observed in the area of some of the burglaries.