Campground Burglars Plead Guilty
Four people pleaded guilty to committing more than 100 burglaries in Pennsylvania's Lancaster County.
So far, only 16 victims out of more than 100 have come forward to police, and already losses total more than $14,000, WHP-TV, Harrisburg, reported.
This pack of four pleaded guilty to committing more than 100 burglaries in Lancaster County last year. Police say crimes were also committed in Adams County, Maryland and Delaware.
“They took advantage of a situation where you had isolated campgrounds where people stored valuables and they, for some period of time, were getting away with it,” said Assistant District Attorney Todd Brown.
Brown says the ambitious team broke into clusters of campers in multiple townships including Manor, Martic and East Cocalico. Brown says good police work led to their arrests last spring. Victims are just beginning to come forward with calculated losses.
“I think we have 16 people who have contacted us so far and the amount is over $14,000,” Brown said,
Tools, electronics, the burglars snatched several items and made out big, never expecting to find themselves in big trouble.
“They were operating under the misconception that these were relatively minor offenses,” Brown figures. They thought, ‘well, they're campers, they're misdemeanors, no big deal if we get caught’, little did they know under Pennsylvania law, a residence is a residence.”
Because of that, Anthony Gesford, John Ierly, William Knight Jr. and Sherry Knight, all from Lancaster County, now face 126 felony counts of burglary.
“I think it was people down on their luck and saw an opportunity to maybe get away with something,” Brown said Wednesday.
The four defendants face a maximum sentence of more than 2,300 years behind bars. There's also a fifth defendant expected to plead guilty over the next week, and sentencing is expected to happen within the next few months.