Daily Local News (West Chester, PA)

Township officials face an expensive decision

- By Marian Dennis mdennis@pottsmerc.com @MarianDenn­is1 on Twitter

The total cost to repair a section of Mortonvill­e Road in East Fallowfiel­d could reach $1 million.

WORCESTER » A Phoenixvil­le man faces more than 70 charges after allegedly stealing credit cards and vehicles in the township.

Edmund Pienkos, 40, of Phoenixvil­le is charged with a list of 71 offenses after state police linked him to several stolen credit cards and cars.

On Aug. 28, state police responded to Hawks Nest Lane for a report of a stolen vehicle that had been tracked to that location. Upon finding the 2012 Hyundai Sonata unoccupied, police took custody of the vehicle. The responding officers reported several stolen vehicles and thefts from motor vehicles in the previous weeks in the Phoenixvil­le area.

That same day, a victim reported their unlocked vehicle was entered in their driveway on Slough Drive in Worcester. A Nike golf bag with clubs and equipment totaling $2,800 and $10 cash were reported stolen from the car, according to police.

Again on Aug. 28, a resident on Hawks Nest Lane in Worcester notified Pennsylvan­ia State Police that their vehicle had been stolen. The victims indicated that their black 2007 Cadillac Escalade had been parked in their driveway and stolen. The vehicle was reported to be unlocked and it was unknown if the keys were in the vehicle. Along with the $19,000 vehicle, a purse containing numerous personal items including credit cards was also reported stolen. The victims told police that the American Express card had been used after the theft occurred and that four cases of beer, six fishing rods, eight fishing reels and a red and white Honda dirt bike had been stolen from the bed of a Ford pick-up truck that was also parked in the driveway, according to court documents.

Police then made contact with American Express investigat­ions and found that the stolen card had several transactio­ns from BP/Amoco, Shell Oil, Wal-Mart and Wawa totaling $199.33. Surveillan­ce video from Wal-Mart and Shell Oil both showed a black Cadillac Escalade entering and leaving the location. Video surveillan­ce from all locations showed the same subject attempting to use a credit card

on the date and times listed by American Express, according to police.

On Sept. 2 the stolen Escalade was recovered and fingerprin­t evidence was sent to Bethlehem Regional Laboratory on Sept. 3.

Between Sept. 19 and Sept. 20, several vehicles were entered on Hedwig Lane in Worcester. Victims reported that an Apple iPad, a credit card and approximat­ely $20 in cash were removed from an unlocked Infinity G37 and a Nissan Altima. A ping on the iPad revealed the location in the area of Phillips Street in north Philadelph­ia, police said.

Two more motor vehicle thefts were reported on Sept. 20 and 21 involving a brown 2006 Honda Accord, a white 2011 Land Rover LR4 valued at $40,000.

A white Land Rover was later reported in an accident. The Land Rover had his four parked cars and flipped onto its roof. The driver of the car was in the back of the ambulance upon police arrival and identified himself to police as Charles Smeykal. Once police discovered the stolen status of the vehicle, police were requested to respond to Temple University Hospital to take the subject into custody. Upon police arrival to the hospital, they were informed that the man had walked out without being treated, according to court documents. After speaking with hospital personnel, police were provided the name Edmund Pienkos. The name was later confirmed after being matched to a license photo.

On Sept. 22 another report of credit cards stolen from an unlocked vehicle was submitted to police on Van Gleason Drive in Skippack. Police then discovered that the name given to them at the scene of the accident was taken from the credit cards stolen out of the vehicle on Van Gleason Drive. The total losses on the first credit card were reported to be $93.84 and the second credit card loss totaled $152. 15, according to police.

On Sept. 25 and 26 two more cars were reported stolen. A white 2010 Volkswagen Jetta from Oakland Drive in West Norriton was taken on the 25th and a gray Honda Civic was taken from Overhill Drive on the 26th. Both cars were recovered, according to court documents.

Several more credit card thefts as well as motor vehicle thefts and thefts from vehicles were reported from Sept. 28 to Oct. 2. Video sur- veillance as well as credit card transactio­ns and fingerprin­t evidence were evaluated through the course of the investigat­ion.

On Oct. 2 Upper Merion Police took Pienkos into custody based on an active warrant.

Pienkos is facing charges of forgery, receiving stolen property, accessing a device issued to another who did not authorize use, theft from a motor vehicle, identity theft, unauthoriz­ed use of a motor vehicle and theft by unlawful taking.

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