N. WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. | Investigators said they tracked down a burglary suspect through the bolt cutters he and an accomplice purchased only hours before the alleged break-in.
Pennsylvania State Police charged Robinson A. Torres with burglary, theft and related charges in connection with a July break-in at a North Whitehall Township self-storage business. District Judge Daniel Trexler arraigned the 37-year-old Montgomery County resident Saturday night, setting bail at $50,000.
State police were dispatched to the Budget Storage and Lock on Independence Drive the morning of July 24 to investigate a burglary that occurred overnight. Staff told troopers that someone had broken into or tampered with 31 storage units, according to court records.
The intruders allegedly cut a hole in the perimeter fence and cut locks off the individual storage lockers. Stolen from one storage unit was a compound bow, archery case and arrows.
State police reported finding a Kobalt brand bolt cutters and its barcode in the grass near the hole in the fence, according to records. Investigators said the brand is sold only at Lowe’s, and a check with security at the Whitehall Township store revealed that the bolt cutters and a flashlight were purchased about three hours before the burglary.
Surveillance video allegedly showed a customer later identified as Torres purchasing the bolt cutters and flashlight with cash at a self-checkout, according to state police. Investigators distributed a photo of the two men to law enforcement, and Lehigh County probation identified Torres, according to records.
Police said video surveillance from the self-storage facility shows two intruders wearing the same clothing seen in the Lowe’s surveillance video breaking into storage units over a roughly two-hour span.
Torres, of Franklin Avenue in Souderton, now faces single felony counts of burglary, criminal trespass and conspiracy along with misdemeanor counts of theft, possessing an instrument of a crime and criminal mischief. He failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 9.