A 43-year-old Allentown man has been charged with receiving stolen property -- including 74 cell phones worth $51,341.
Duane Marcel Holmes, who has a criminal history of being involved in burglaries, was arrested by city detectives Wednesday, not long after two area electronics stores were burglarized.
One burglary happened in a Radio Shack store at 1832 Stefko Blvd. in Bethlehem and another in a Verizon store in Upper Saucon Township.
When Allentown police detectives learned of the Radio Shack burglary, they quickly set up surveillance at Holmes' residence in the 600 block of N. Randolph Street in east Allentown, because they knew Holmes has a criminal history involving thefts, burglary, criminal trespass and other violations.
Within a half hour of that burglary, detectives observed two men arrive at the house in a green van. Both the men and their vehicle matched video surveillance descriptions of the Radio Shack burglars.
Holmes also pulled up in a black Lexus.
The suspects were seen carrying a blue tote bag, like the one used in that burglary, into the house.
About 30 minutes later, detective observed Holmes leave his home with a dark-colored duffel bag and a garbage bag. He put them into the Lexus and went back into his house. The other two males left, then Holmes also left the house in the Lexus.
Police apparently stopped Holmes' car at 10:50 a.m. Wednesday in the 1200 block of Hanover Avenue. When they searched his car, they found the duffel bag in the trunk contained the 74 cell phones taken from the Verizon store.
Police then searched Holmes' house and found a Playstation 4 and another cell phone that had been stolen from the Radio Shack in Bethlehem.
The defendant was charged with two counts of receiving stolen property -- one for property worth more than $2,000, the other for property worth more than $200.
The second count was for the Playstation and Boost mobile cell phone, which had a total value of $800.
Police did not reveal whether the two men believed to have committed the Bethlehem Radio Shack burglary have been arrested.