Arrest made in connection to rash of vehicle break-ins in Whitemarsh and Conshohocken

An arrest has been made in the recent rash of vehicle break-ins involving parking lots (including SEPTA lots) along the Manayunk/Norristown Regional Rail line and Schuylkill River Trail. Over the course of a month, there were 71 vehicles with reported broken windows and items stolen.

Below is the press release in full:

Conshohocken Borough Police Chief George Metz, Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority Police Chief Thomas J. Nestel and Whitemarsh Township Police Chief Christopher P. Ward announce the arrest of Zachary Righter, 26, of Philadelphia, for charges related to vandalism of vehicles, theft from vehicles, credit card fraud and related offenses.

Between Dec. 2, 2019 and Jan. 1, 2020, Conshohocken and Whitemarsh Police Departments received 71 reports of vehicles with broken windows, some of which had property and valuables stolen from them, in the area of the Conshohocken, Spring Mill and Miquon Train Stations for the SEPTA Manayunk/Norristown Line. In every case, patrol officers responded to the scenes and took reports. Officers gathered evidence at the scene and along the Schuylkill River Bike Trail, which also connects with all three stations. Evidence included recovered material items and DNA evidence gathered from some of the effected vehicles.

During the investigation detectives from Conshohocken and Whitemarsh determined that credit cards stolen from various locations had been used in the area. Detectives were then able to obtain video of the defendant using the credit cards in local establishments. Based on the evidence recovered and photographs from the video obtained, a Wanted Person Bulletin was created with a photo of the suspect, physical descriptors, information on the defendant’s normal dress and evidence that indicated that the defendant was utilizing the Bike Path to ride a bicycle from train station to train station.

On Jan. 2, 2020 a SEPTA Police Officer, armed with the Wanted Person Bulletin, observed and identified Righter in the area of the Ivy Ridge Train Station, which is also along the Bike Trail and part of the Manayunk/ Norristown Line. The SEPTA officer immediately shared this information with the investigating detectives.

Righter was arrested and charged with felony offenses related to the vandalism, theft from vehicles, credit card fraud and related offenses. He was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Deborah Lukens, who set bail at $10,000 cash. The defendant was unable to post bail and was remanded to the Montgomery County Correctional Facility. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 22, 2020.

The Conshohocken, Whitemarsh and SEPTA Police Departments routinely work together to address crimes and issues that occur along the Schuylkill River Bike Trail in the area of the Conshohocken, Spring Mill and Miquon Train Stations