District attorney's office Two charged in residential burglaries
A Lower Saucon Township man and a Hellertown woman have been charged in 76 residential burglaries and one attempted burglary in four counties.
Patrick Quinn, 27, of 2131 Riverside Drive, Lower Saucon Township, and Kelly Cunningham, 22, of 1843 Nancy Lee Court, Hellertown, were charged Aug. 14, after an investigation by Pennsylvania State Police at Bethlehem and Bethlehem Police into a string of burglaries at vacant houses that had been listed for sale in Lehigh, Northampton, Bucks and Carbon counties.
Quinn and Cunningham are charged with 76 counts each of burglary, criminal conspiracy to commit burglary, criminal trespass and criminal conspiracy to commit criminal trespass and one count of attempted burglary.
The cases were consolidated and are being prosecuted in Lehigh County because detectives with the David M. Petzold Digital Forensics Laboratory of Lehigh County on the campus of DeSales University in Upper Saucon Township established a crucial link in all the cases by examining a global positioning system unit in Cunningham's vehicle.
Police said during the burglaries, the two defendants stole copper pipes, copper fittings and valves, brass fittings and valves, and tools and sold them for scrap at various scrap yards in Lehigh and Northampton counties. The total amount of stolen items and damage to the properties was about $205,807.
The burglaries occurred between Nov. 23, 2012, and May 24 between the hours of 11:45 p.m. and 5 a.m., according to police.
According to an affidavit of probable cause for arrest, the defendants accessed a real estate website via a laptop computer and cell phone to identify residences for sale. The defendants then would enter the addresses into a GPS and drive to the locations. The defendants also would target residences when they drove by them and saw for sale signs.
In May 2013, a state trooper was contacted by the owner of a scrap yard who reported a female named Kelly Cunningham was consistently bringing copper to him to be sold for scrap.
The owner also reported Patrick Quinn had been bringing copper to him to be sold for scrap.
The owner gave the trooper a description of the vehicle Cunningham had been driving and the license plate of the vehicle.
Police reviewed scrap yard records and determined Quinn and Cunningham had taken copper and brass to the scrap yard numerous times.
Police searched Cunningham's vehicle and seized the GPS unit inside the vehicle and pieces of copper piping, numerous cutting tools, pry tools and duffle bags. One of the duffle bags contained a receipt for a salvage yard.
Police also searched a bedroom at 605 Nazareth Pike, Apartment C, Lower Nazareth Township, where Quinn had lived, and seized a cell phone and shoes. Police also found two notebooks for addresses in Lehigh, Northampton and Carbon counties.
A detective in the Petzold Laboratory analyzed the GPS unit taken from Cunningham's vehicle and determined the defendants were in the immediate areas where a majority of the burglaries had occurred.
Homes in Lower Milford Township, Lower Macungie Township and Emmaus were included in the list properties burglarized.