Lehigh Valley

Police say alleged burglar swaps stolen guns for heroin

He took 3 handguns from an Upper Milford Twp. home

U. MILFORD TWP., Pa. - Authorities in Lehigh County said the man accused of burglarizing an Upper Milford Township home last summer traded the three handguns he stole in exchange for 14 bags of heroin.

Thomas E. Boyer faces theft, burglary and related charges in connection with the alleged break-in of Vera Cruz Road home in July 2016. District Judge Michael Pochron arraigned the 23-year-old Wednesday morning, setting bail at $75,000.

Boyer was already in Lehigh County Jail on charges related to a December burglary in Allentown.

Pennsylvania State Police with the Fogelsville barracks were dispatched to investigate a burglary that occurred between July 20 and 23, while the homeowner was on a trip. The burglar reportedly climbed onto a roof and removed a bathroom window.

The homeowner told police that three handguns – a Taurus 9mm, a Smith & Wesson .357 and an AMT .45 caliber – were stolen along with a safe. Some of the money stolen from the home was collectible currency, including a 1934 $500 bill and $1 silver certificates. The owner estimated everything was worth about $6,065.

Police said the homeowner posted information about the burglary on Facebook, prompting a response from a collectibles dealer that he likely purchased the $500 bill.

The dealer told police he was contacted on July 25 by a man about selling a 1934 $500 bill along with other collectibles. He was later identified as Boyer, according to court records. After the sale, Boyer reportedly “liked” the dealer’s business on Facebook.

State police tracked down Boyer through his probation officer in Montgomery County, who directed investigators to the Allentown Police Department. Investigators there arrested Boyer in December in connection with their own burglary investigation.

State police interviewed Boyer at the county jail in December, where he allegedly admitted driving around looking for houses where the owner’s weren’t home. Authorities said he admitted selling the collectibles and trading the guns to a Philadelphia drug dealer named “Tino,” according to records.

Boyer told police he broke into the home to support his drug habit. He's charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft and receiving stolen property.

Boyer’s next court date on the most recent charges is a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for Feb. 8. He’s scheduled for a formal arraignment on the unrelated Allentown burglary charges on Feb. 14.

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