Dozens of cell phones stolen in 'distraction theft' at RadioShack in Muhlenberg

Maryland woman arrested, 3 other people still being sought, police say

Posted: 12:37 PM EDT May 16, 2013   Updated: 6:08 PM EDT May 16, 2013

Police have arrested one of four people suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of cell phones from a RadioShack store.

Nicole Elizabeth Ryan and three other people used a distraction technique to steal 36 phones from the Fairgrounds Square Mall store at 3050 N. 5th St. Highway in Muhlenberg Twp., Berks Co., police said.

Taken were 18 cellular phones, seven Samsung Galaxy S3 phones and 1 Samsung Galaxy Note 2, all valued at $700 each, and 10 iPhone 5 phones, valued at $600 each, for a total value of $11,600, according to court documents.

While officers were responding to the store, they were alerted to another distraction theft attempt involving four people at the Radio Shack Store at 4302 N. 5th St. Highway, police said.

Those involved, police said, fled the store in a black BMW without getting anything except their images recorded on surveillance cameras.

Police used the surveillance video to identify two of the four people, including Ryan, who was charged with retail theft, organized retail theft and receiving stolen property. Ryan, 23, of Edgewood, Md., was committed to the Berks County Jail on $100,000 bail.

The other suspect who was identified, the driver of the BMW, is still at large, as are the other man and woman, both of whom have not yet been identified.

Police are also investigating similar thefts at RadioShack stores in Northampton and York counties, according to court documents.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. A cash reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.