Lehigh Valley

Brooklyn man nabbed allegedly burglarizing Islamic center

He led South Whitehall police on a brief chase

S. WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. - Authorities allege a Brooklyn man crashed into a police car Monday while trying to escape after burglarizing a South Whitehall Township Islamic center.

Police charged Jerry L. Hinton with burglary and theft following a high-speed chase and his arrest Monday afternoon in the 4500 block of Crackersport Road. District Judge Michael Faulkner arraigned the 52-year-old at an area hospital, setting bail at $100,000.

South Whitehall Township police were dispatched to the Al-Ahad Islamic Center at 1500 Ridgeview Dr. shortly after 4:30 p.m. for a burglary in progress. A member of the center watching the break-in on video surveillance provided police with a description of the burglar and his vehicle, according to court records.

When an officer arrived, the suspect – later identified as Hinton – crashed his Hyundai Elantra into the front of the police car, causing minor damage to the push bar, according to police. Hinton then sped away west on Ridgeview Drive.

Authorities said Hinton led police on a chase at more than 70 mph north on Route 309 onto Church Street to Hausman Road and finally to Crackersport Road, where he ran into a dead end and was arrested.

Video surveillance allegedly shows Hinton breaking into Al-Ahan and stealing money from four donation boxes and from an office. Police said he stole more than $1,000.

Police said Hinton is also wanted by the Danbury Police Department in Connecticut on a Feb. 22 arrest warrant for burglary.

South Whitehall police charged Hinton with felony counts of burglary, criminal trespass, fleeing from police and misdemeanor counts of receiving stolen property and theft. He was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 12 after failing to post bail.

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