Lehigh Valley

Police link man to trio of break-ins in five days

The 44-year-old allegedly stole TVs and tools

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Authorities in Lehigh County have arrested a 44-year-old who allegedly broke into a house and stole TVs from a senior housing complex and an apartment building over a roughly five-day span.

Allentown police charged Alex Fernandez, no confirmable address, in connection with the 2016 thefts from a Jackson Street home, Episcopal House and Bridgeview Apartments. District Judge David Howells Jr. arraigned Fernandez early Wednesday morning on three sets of charges, setting bail at a combined $38,000.

A homeowner in the 900 block of Jackson Street reported to police that someone broke into his house sometime between April 27 and May 2, 2016, by climbing a rear fire escape and breaking a window, according to court records. The thief made off with a compressor and hammer drill worth about $1,100 and caused $150 in damage, according to records.

Police said a fingerprint left behind on the broken glass tied Fernandez to the burglary.

On April 27, 2016, Fernandez was allegedly caught on video surveillance wheeling an LED TV and Wii gaming console out of the common room of Episcopal House at 1440 Walnut St. Police said he used a shopping cart to steal the TV and gaming system valued at a combined $900 shortly after 4:30 a.m.

Authorities would recognize the modus operandi following another theft a few days later.

A Bridgeview Apartments representative told police that someone stole two TVs out of a community room on May 1. Video surveillance showed the thief stealing a television about 1:30 p.m. and returning shortly before 11 p.m. to steal a second TV, according to records. The two television and wall mounts were worth more than $2,100.

Police allege Fernandez waited at a secured door until a tenant left and slipped inside. He then disabled a security alarm from a stairwell emergency exit causing about $285 in damage.

Fernandez reportedly checked out the building a few days earlier under the pretense he was looking for an apartment for his father. He provided a Virginia identification.

Police charged Fernandez with two counts each of burglary, criminal trespass and criminal mischief and three counts each of theft and receiving stolen property. He failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 31.


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