Woman admits to burglary conspiracy
A New Hanover woman will be under court supervision for several years after she admitted to conspiring with a man who committed a string of residential break-ins in central Montgomery County.
Emily Ann Gallagher, 24, of the 500 block of Swamp Picnic Road, was sentenced in county court to 50 days already served to 23 months in the county jail and 24 hours of community service after she pleaded guilty to a felony charge of conspiracy to commit burglary in connection with incidents that occurred between February and March 2016.
Judge Garrett D. Page also ordered Gallagher to complete five years’ probation after she’s paroled, meaning Gallagher will be under court supervision for about seven years. Gallagher also must undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation and comply with any recommendations for treatment, the judge said.
In court documents, detectives referred to Gallagher as the “lookout” and the person who drove burglar Benjamin Troy Lopez to some of the residences that were burglarized in Lower Providence, Lower Frederick and Franconia townships.
Gallagher, according to a criminal complaint filed by Lower Providence Detective Sgt. Terrence Kennedy, told authorities Lopez would call her and ask her to drive him to a house so he could commit a burglary and she would pick him up and drop him off “for the sole purpose of him committing a residential burglary.”
“Emily Gallagher said Benjamin Lopez would communicate to her via cellphone on instructions of where to meet him after committing these burglaries. Emily Gallagher said after these burglaries they would drive to Philadelphia where they would sell the jewelry for cash and use the stolen U.S. currency to purchase heroin,” Kennedy alleged in court papers.
Court documents indicate detectives also obtained surveillance video from an area pawn shop that showed Gallagher and Lopez pawning watches allegedly stolen during one of the burglaries.
In March, Lopez, 24, formerly of the 1500 block of Gravel Pike in Perkiomen, was sentenced to six to 20 years in state prison after he pleaded guilty to felony charges of burglary and theft by unlawful taking in connection with the breakins.
Lopez and Gallagher must share in the payment of about $9,500 in restitution in connection with the crimes, court records say.
All of the burglaries occurred during the morning hours and jewelry and cash was taken during the break-ins, according to the criminal complaint. Windows were forced open or smashed by rocks in order to gain entry to many of the homes, court documents indicated.
One of the burglaries was carried out while the homeowner was in the shower.
Detectives got a break in the case when in March 2016 they conducted checks of area pawn shops and linked Lopez and Gallagher to a sale transaction involving two stolen watches, according to the criminal complaint. With the help of store surveillance video detectives were able to identify Lopez and Gallagher.
When confronted with the allegations, Lopez admitted to the break-ins and told detectives he either sold the jewelry on the streets of Philadelphia or sold the items at area pawn shops.
It’s not the first time Lopez has been in trouble with
In January 2014, Lopez, then 21 and of the 1000 block of Cemetery Road in Skippack, was sentenced to 11 ½ to 23 months in the county jail, plus eight years of probation, after he pleaded guilty to multiple felony counts of burglary and attempted burglary in connection with breakins that occurred between February and June 2013. Those Perkiomen Valley area burglaries netted Lopez about $28,400 in stolen goods, prosecutors said at that time.
The 2013 burglaries or attempted burglaries occurred at residences in Schwenksville Borough and Limerick, Skippack, Perkiomen, Upper Salford, Lower