For now, they're the Montgomery County and Bucks County answer to Bonnie and Clyde - except their targets weren't banks, but residential houses in numerous municipalities.
On July 18, Joshua Siringhaus, of the 1600 block of Supplee Road in Upper Gwynedd, and Kristin Leidy, of the 500 block of South Main Street, Hatfield Borough, will be arraigned in Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas on 58 criminal charges each in connection with burglaries in and around Hatfield Township.
Both had preliminary hearings before District Judge Andrea Duffy in Montgomeryville Thursday afternoon.
Siringhaus was convicted of and had spent time in prison for numerous burglaries in 2003 in Franconia and Lower Salford townships, according to court records.
Leidy was convicted in 2007 on felony receiving stolen property charges in Hatfield Township and spent time in prison on the charges, according to court records.
Of the 58 charges, 46 are felonies:
- 12 counts of felony burglary
- 1 count of felony conspiracy to commit burglary
- 10 counts of felony criminal trespassing
- 1 count of felony conspiracy to commit criminal trespass
- 10 counts of felony theft by unlawful taking
- 1 count of conspiracy felony to commit theft
- 10 counts of felony receiving stolen property
- 1 count of conspiracy to commit receiving stolen property
- 10 misdemeanor counts of criminal mischief-damage to property
- 1 count of use or possession of drug paraphernalia
- 1 count of conspiracy to use or possess drug paraphernalia
Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney and Firearms Unit Captain Nathan Schadler reduced the counts of burglary from 16 counts to 12 counts.
The four dismissed burglaries are related to four burglaries in Lower Salford Township.
Schadler said it was a call made by a Lower Salford Township officer and affected residents to dismiss the charges, in essence, and make them criminal trespassing incidents.
The conspiracy counts were reduced to one per associatd charge because, Schadler said, the alleged actions of both parties were "continuing courses of conduct."
"It would be legally impermissible to charge them 10 times," he said.
Bail was reduced for both parties from $500,000 cash to $99,000 cash so Siringhaus and Leidy could be removed from maximum security at Montgomery County Prison and work in the prison.
Schadler said if Siringhaus or Leidy post bail, then the county has 60 days to enter a motion to the court to oppose that and re-raise bail.
"It is done to allow them to move around and not get out of jail," Schadler said.
The limitation also ensures that victims are able to get restitution for their losses in the alleged burglaries committed by the pair.
"It protects us, the public, and addresses the concern of substantial restitution," Schadler said. "We don't want them out on the streets. We want to make sure the victims begin to feel they are made whole."
Leidy's attorney, Michael Quinn, was adamant to Schadler about witnesses identifying his client before her hearing and trial.
Quinn requested, and was granted, no identifying witnesses at his client's trial.
"Thanks to the staff, Mr. Schadler and (Hatfield Township Detective Rich) Hofner for hammering it out. This could have been a four-hour preliminary hearing," Quinn said.
After the hearing, Schadler spoke with the victims outside the courtroom. He explained the purpose of a preliminary hearing and said that "99 percent of the time (defendants) plead out." He also informed them of restitution procedures.
One resident said he wanted to meet Siringhaus to "just shake his hand."
"We will work the case as hard as possible to make sure justice is done for you and the community," he said.
Police said Hatfield Township and several surrounding municipalities started experiencing daytime residential burglaries beginning in March 2012.
The burglars targeted jewelry and cash, police said. The burglaries occurred in the daytime hours throughout the week when most of the homes were unoccupied, police said.
A burglary task force was formed with officers from Franconia Township Police, Hatfield Township Police, Lower Salford Township Police, Pennridge Regional Police and Pennsylvania State Police at Skippack, police said.
Siringhaus and Leidy were nabbed using evidence recovered from several of the burglary scenes, police said.
On April 17, Hatfield Township Police obtained an arrest warrant for Siringhaus and charged him with burglary and related offenses, police said.
On April 17, Cheltenham Township Police located Siringhaus and Leidy in their jurisdiction, police said. Siringhaus was arrested on the Hatfield Township Police warrant and Leidy was arrested on an unrelated warrant, police said.
Hatfield Township and Lower Salford Township Police detectives interviewed Siringhaus and he admitted he was responsible for numerous burglaries throughout Hatfield Township, Franconia Township, Lower Salford Township and Salford Township, police said.
Detectives determined Siringhaus and Leidy acted together to commit daytime residential burglaries in Montgomery and Bucks Counties, police said.
In many of the cases, Leidy knocked at the front door to determine if anyone was home before Siringhaus broke into the residence, police said.