Serial burglary suspect in Reading identified, but still at large

Two juveniles arrested in series of break-ins; alleged ringleader sought

Rash of burglaries in Reading

READING, Pa. - A serial burglar is on the loose after multiple houses were hit in one night's time, said police.

The southeast section of Reading has been under siege. Nine houses were burglarized in a matter of hours during the night of September 19. A suspect has been identified, but he remains on the run, police said.

"They were 10 feet from my bed where I was asleep, where my daughter was asleep and where my wife was asleep," said David Marsh, who is looking for justice.

Marsh has not slept the same since. His wife's purse was stolen after the burglars made their way inside his home in the 600 block of S. 18th 1/2 Street in the city.

"He figured out how to slide that bar over so he can get that door open," Marsh said, pointing to the bilco doors that lead to his basement. "They came out the back door once they heard the dog barking upstairs. That's what scared them off."

Two juveniles connected to the recent rash have been arrested, but the ringleader, Denis Vicil-Masso, is still at large, said police.

"I'm afraid to even come home. I work second shift and I'm afraid to come home alone at night," said Cindy Messner, who has lived in Reading for 50 years.

Vicil-Masso, 41, is a known drug offender, said investigators. He's among Berks County's Most Wanted for burglary and related offenses. He's also wanted by several other jurisdictions.

According to police, Vicil-Masso operates from midnight to 6 a.m. He looks for unlocked windows and doors in the back of the house to get inside, steal whatever he can, and get out. He is known to enter the home, even if residents are inside.

Marsh has stepped up security. He's updated his surveillance cameras and added a security system.

Days after being victimized, many in the southeast section of the city are living in fear.

"I don't feel safe during the day, I don't feel safe at night. My blinds and curtains are shut, and my screen doors are locked," said Dianne Edwards, whose son's bike was recently stolen.

"I cannot walk around my property without watching, looking at everything. I just don't trust anyone," said Marsh.

Police are asking for the public's help to lock up Vicil-Masso.

Anyone with information is asked to call Reading Police Department, Criminal Investigations Division at 610-655-6246. You can also call Crime Alert Berks County at 1-877-373-9913.

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