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Police arrest suspected burglar after nearly 3 month investigation
By Maria Miller
SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa. -- "I started to develop a fear the longer this went, the bolder he may get and he may consider entering homes, which is a little scary," said Somerset County District Attorney Lisa Lazzari-Strasiser.
The Somerset County district attorney shared the relief of many Friday after a man accused of breaking into dozens of businesses is behind bars.
State police said Friday it's been a long two and a half months, but they believe their investigation is finally nearing it's end. Roy Penrose III is only facing charges for one burglary but police said they plan to file dozens of other charges in the coming days.
The exhaustion could almost be seen on the faces of state police officers in Somerset on Friday. They've been working extra shifts and staying later for patrols for nearly three months trying to catch Penrose. And when they found him Thursday, they said they also found everything they needed to prove their case against him.
"It was a pattern of two, three, four over a couple of nights and then no activity for maybe four, five, six days and then again another round," said Lazzari-Strasiser. "So there was a pattern."
But that all ended Wednesday afternoon when police received an anonymous tip.
"We were able to corroborate that it wasn't just random information and that's what they went on," said Lazzari-Strasiser. "The information developed and they ended up at Mr. Penrose's residence."
What they found inside his home was about about $500 in cash, 115 packets of heroin, a gun and most of the items that have been reported stolen from businesses across the county. And if that wasn't enough evidence, police also found the shoes and clothes that they said Penrose was seen wearing on surveillance cameras during the burglaries.
"Even if he went to give a statement, it's pretty clear that the clothing in the surveillance videos match we found," said Lazzari-Strasiser. "The details of items that were removed from the properties are consistent with what was found."
"Bottom line is we have to thank the Somerset station troopers, especially the crime unit who want to put a lot of extra time and effort into a lot of their own time into solving these investigations," said Sgt. Greg Keefer.
According to court documents, Penrose has admitted to the burglaries. He's in jail on $75,000 bond. Police said they believe he's the only one involved.