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CRIME ROUNDUP 

A man has been arrested for stealing $190K from a vehicle; Bensalem Police's proactive patrols lead to felon arrests, seizure of guns

Man arrested for stealing $190K from vehicle

Plytas. Source: Bensalem Police

Christopher Plytas, 43, has been arrested by Bensalem Police for the theft of $190,000 from a vehicle.

On April 29, at 5 p.m., police responded to the Conoco Gas Station, 2700 Knights Road, for the report of a theft from a vehicle in the parking lot. Upon arrival, the victim told police that he had $190,000 in a box in the back seat of his 2017 Tesla, and that someone had broken the window and stolen all of the cash while he was inside the business. The victim is the owner of a company that owns skill machines throughout the area, and he was at that gas station servicing one of those machines when the theft occurred. 

On April 30, Bensalem Police obtained surveillance video of the theft and identified the suspect vehicle as a white Kia Optima with front-end damage. The driver was a white male, and a female passenger was in the vehicle during the theft. Utilizing surveillance cameras and Automated License Plate Readers, police were able to identify the vehicle’s owner. It was found that Plytas was associated with the owner’s address and was involved in a traffic accident in October 2023 in Bristol Township in the same Kia. 

Police obtained photographs of Plytas and identified him as the person who stole the $190,000 from the victim’s vehicle. District Justice Michael Gallagher approved an arrest warrant for Plytas. Another search of the ALPR system led police to Glen Hollow Apartments in Croydon. Police went to that location and observed the same Kia parked in the parking lot. Undercover officers surveilled the location for over four hours until they observed Plytas returning to his apartment in building 8 of the apartment complex. He was taken into custody without incident. 

Police executed a search warrant on the apartment and subsequently searched the Kia. Numerous items were seized from the car and apartment, including narcotics, paraphernalia, clothing and US currency totaling approximately $40,000. Police are continuing to investigate this crime to determine if it was a targeted operation, identify any co-conspirators and attempt to locate the additional money that was reported stolen.

Plytas was charged with Theft by Unlawful Taking, Theft from a Motor Vehicle and related charges. He was arraigned by District Justice Kevin Wagner and remanded to the Bucks County Correctional Facility on 10 percent of $2 million bail.

Proactive patrols lead to felon arrests, seizure of guns

Source: Bensalem Police

Bensalem Police conduct proactive patrols and traffic stops, during which they remove illegal guns from the street and arrest persons who should not possess firearms. The following arrests over the last month are a few examples of their work:

On March 17, a gray Lincoln MKX was found to have a suspended registration, and a traffic stop was initiated. The vehicle’s driver was Darlene Chestnut, 32, of Windsor Avenue, Philadelphia, and the front seat passenger was Karrie Amaro, 28, of W. Westmoreland Street, Philadelphia. A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed a fresh bullet hole in the windshield, raw marijuana, a sandwich baggie with numerous vials of crack cocaine that were packaged for sale, and a loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun. Police also searched a hotel room associated with Chestnut and Amaro. Four unsupervised children were discovered in the room, as well as prescription pills, THC gummies, a digital scale and methamphetamine. The four children were turned over to a family member. Amaro was charged with Carrying Firearms without a License and narcotics violations, and Chestnut was charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Child and narcotics violations. 

On April 4, a blue Saturn sedan made an illegal turn. The vehicle also displayed an unregistered license plate. A traffic stop was initiated, and the car’s driver was identified as Jermaine Beattie, 48, of W. Lehigh Avenue, Philadelphia. Officers observed a black handgun in plain view on the floor of the passenger side and two bullet holes on the driver’s side of the vehicle. Beattie had a suspended driver’s license, did not possess a permit to carry, and was a felon not to possess a firearm. He was taken into custody and charged with Persons Not to Possess a Firearm and narcotics and traffic violations. 

On April 13, a gray Chevrolet Tahoe had a faulty brake light, a broken mirror and a suspended registration. A traffic stop was initiated, and it was found that the driver of the vehicle, Brittany Dougherty, 33, of Fanshawe Street, Philadelphia, had an active retail theft warrant out of Bensalem for theft at the Kohl’s on March 5. She also had a burglary warrant out of Camden County, New Jersey, and a robbery warrant out of Evesham Township, New Jersey. The vehicle’s passenger, Omar Pedro, 30, of Rutland Street, Philadelphia, also had a warrant for the same retail theft at Kohl’s and a warrant out of Philadelphia. A search incident to arrest found that Pedro had a handgun in his waistband and Dougherty had narcotics in her possession. Pedro was charged with Persons Not to Possess a Firearm, and Dougherty was charged with narcotics violations. 

Kohl’s retail theft

Source: Bensalem Police

Bensalem Police are investigating a retail theft at Kohl’s, 2325 Street Road, on April 20. At approximately 4 p.m., it was reported that an unknown black male entered the store and concealed about $1,500 worth of cosmetics in a red bag. He fled the area in a white sedan without paying for the merchandise. 

If you have any information regarding his identity, submit an anonymous tip online at bucks.crimewatchpa.com/bensalempd/ or contact Bensalem Police at 215-633-3719.

Boscov’s retail theft

Source: Bensalem Police

Bensalem Police are investigating a retail theft at Boscov’s, 200 Neshaminy Mall Drive. On April 26, at 7 p.m., two unknown black females entered the fragrance section of the store and stole approximately $240 worth of merchandise. They then fled the area in a red/maroon Subaru. 

If you have any information regarding their identity, submit an anonymous tip online at bucks.crimewatchpa.com/bensalempd/ or call Bensalem Police at 215-633-3719.

Barnes and Noble retail theft

Source: Bensalem Police

Bensalem Police are investigating a retail theft that occurred at Barnes and Noble, 300 Neshaminy Mall, on April 21. It was reported at 7 p.m. that an unknown white or Hispanic male wearing glasses entered the store and stole approximately $390 worth of DVDs. He fled the area on foot toward the Neshaminy Mall. 

If you have any information regarding his identity, submit an anonymous tip online at bucks.crimewatchpa.com/bensalempd/ or call Bensalem Police at 215-633-3719.

Serial Giant retail thief arrested

Source: Lower Southampton Police

With the assistance of Bensalem Police, Lower Southampton Police arrested Richard Santana-Aponte on April 28 after he was observed traveling along Street Road. He was identified following an investigation into the reports of nine thefts that occurred at the Giant, located at 176 W. Street Road in Feasterville, from the end of March through mid-April. The total value of these thefts is over $3,700.

Bensalem Police conducted a traffic stop and took him into custody without incident. Santana-Aponte was arraigned on the charges of Retail Theft and Receiving Stolen Property and remanded to the Bucks County Correctional Facility after failing to post bail, where he will await his day in court.

Distraction burglary

Source: Lower Southampton Police

A red Ford pickup truck was used in a distraction burglary in the Oakford section of Lower Southampton Township on April 25. An Indian or Hispanic male and female, both approximately 30 years old, approached the occupant of the home and initially asked about sealcoating the driveway. When they were denied, they asked if the female, who is pregnant, could use the bathroom. The male and female were allowed into the residence. Approximately one hour later, the homeowner discovered multiple pieces of jewelry missing from the residence. 

The bumper and grille are both painted red. It appears that there is no bed liner or tailgate on the truck, and the rear of the vehicle contains sealcoating equipment. Police are asking those who live in the Oakford section to check their home security systems for any video that may assist with this investigation. Call Lower Southampton Police at 215-357-1234 or submit an anonymous tip online at bucks.crimewatchpa.com/lowersouthamptontwppd/ with any information.

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