Authorities in Northampton County allege a Wilson Borough teenager went on a mini crime spree last year that saw him break into more than a dozen vehicles.
Police in Forks and Palmer townships charged Seth T. Gallagher, of Lehigh Street, in a series of break-ins that occurred in April and August 2019. District Judge Jacqueline Taschner arraigned the 19-year-old last week on more than 30 charges, setting bail at a combined $40,000.
Forks Township police were first called to a home in the 1900 block of Wagon Wheel Drive about 4:15 a.m. Aug. 1 after the homeowner caught a juvenile male breaking into his car, according to court records.
The homeowner told police he came outside to find three males in his vehicle and managed to grab one of them as the other two ran away. He said one of the thieves returned and started throwing landscaping rocks, causing about $1,000 worth of damage, according to records. Stolen from the car was $5 in change, a charger and a DVD.
During an interview with police, the captured juvenile told authorities that he and two others rummaged through about 10 vehicles between midnight and 4:15 a.m. that morning, according to records.
The break-ins occurred at homes on Winter Lane, Howe Street, Barry Court, Biddle Lane and Reveres Way. Several homeowners provided police with surveillance footage and reported thefts that included sunglasses, a laptop, change, headphones and earbuds.
The juvenile also allegedly admitted that he and his two accomplices went through vehicles on Katie Court, Andrew Drive and Middle Way on April 15, stealing change and gift cards.
Investigators said they managed to identify one of the other males in the surveillance footage as Gallagher. Phillipsburg police provided photos of Gallagher from an arrest in New Jersey, and Forks Township police said they managed to positively identify him in the surveillance footage.
Meanwhile on Aug. 20, Palmer Township police were dispatched to homes on Wilden and Timberlane drives, Mine Lane Road, York Place, Lieberman Terrace and Ivy Court for a series of vehicle break-ins. Police said all the vehicles entered were unlocked.
One home’s video surveillance captured a male going through a car. Forks Township police provided photos of Gallagher, and police said the male in the video looked very similar.
During an Aug. 29 interview at Warren County jail, Gallagher allegedly admitted to the Forks and Palmer township vehicle break-ins. He allegedly told Palmer Township police they could find two iPhones he stole in a dresser drawer at his grandmother’s house. Investigators did recover the phones.
In total, Gallagher faces 10 counts of theft from a motor vehicle; six counts of conspiracy; nine counts of receiving stolen property; 10 counts of loitering and prowling; and single counts of criminal mischief and simple assault. Each offense is a misdemeanor.
Gallagher failed to post bail and was sent to Northampton County Prison to await preliminary hearings scheduled for Jan. 29.