LIMERICK, Pa. (CBS) — Three burglary suspects are now behind bars in Montgomery County. Authorities say the trio targeted businesses that appeared to be shut down due to the coronavirus outbreak.
All three businesses are located in the same shopping plaza.
A shop owner who spoke with CBS3 says the suspects used rocks to bust through the storefronts.
What they got away with is kind of strange and who found them is far stranger.
Plywood on a door is like salt in a wound.
“These little places like mine, they take the biggest hit,” Bravo Pizza owner Michael Deluca said.
Bravo Pizza in Limerick is now surviving on just pick-up and delivery. Most of the stores beside it have had to close completely.
“As long as we can continue to pay everybody and keep the doors open, we will,” Deluca said.
But three individuals took the liberty to open up his door last Friday around 10:15 p.m.
“I got a call from my father saying that somebody broke into the pizza shop. Immediately, I’m like, ‘all right let me pull up the footage,’” Deluca said.
That surveillance video showed a suspect crouching through the store, then heading to the fridge to snag a couple of sodas. Some spare change was also stolen.
Two other adjoining businesses were also targeted. A donation jaw was taken from one and at the other, well, the glass wouldn’t bust.
“Our investigation revealed that these individuals were trying to take advantage of the fact that these businesses had closed,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a phone interview with CBS3.
Steele says that the three suspects — Dylan Pontaski, Hollie Kulp and Shawn Carter — mistakenly believed that they could get away with burglarizing businesses due to the coronavirus restrictions.
“Our law enforcement community are out arresting those that are getting involved with these type of crimes,” Steele said.
Remember that surveillance video?
Well, luckily Deluca had it on his mind too as he rushed to the store following the crime.
“I just happened to say to myself, what are the odds that I see somebody walking down the street?” Deluca said.
While driving, Deluca recognized the one suspect as the trio was walking on the side of the road and alerted Limerick police.
“I’m happy for the justice part of it. Other than a window, which hopefully they will have to pay for eventually,” Deluca said.
Deluca says the stolen change was found with the suspects and returned.
A preliminary hearing for all three suspects is scheduled for April 6 and could be done over video conference.