Camden, N.J. – A Lawnside man has been charged in multiple jurisdictions for a string of “smash-and-grab” style burglaries committed in stolen vehicles over the course of 13 days, according to Acting Camden County Prosecutor Jill S. Mayer.
Erik Wallace, 47, of Lawnside, has been charged with numerous counts of Burglary, Theft, and Criminal Mischief in the Borough of Berlin, Cherry Hill, Collingswood, Gloucester City, Gloucester Township, Haddon Heights, Pennsauken, and Somerdale.
“These crimes spanned across the entire Camden County area and required the coordination of more than eight police departments,” said Mayer. “This case highlights how important communication is between our law enforcement agencies. Without the hard work of detectives and officers from our office as well as the Borough of Berlin, Collingswood, Cherry Hill, Gloucester City, Gloucester Township, Haddon Heights, Pennsauken, and Somerdale, who knows how many more crimes could have been committed.”
Police said the burglaries began on Aug. 11, after a vehicle was reported stolen in Collingswood. Shortly thereafter, officers responded to a burglary in Gloucester City. The next day, the stolen vehicle was seen at a similar style burglary in Haddon Heights
On Thursday, Aug. 13, the same vehicle was observed along with a person matching Wallace’s description who was committing two burglaries in Pennsauken. The vehicle was then reported to be used in four smash-and-grab burglaries in Cherry Hill on Aug. 13 and 14.
A few days later on Aug. 16, police in Somerdale responded to a similar burglary during which the stolen vehicle was reported to have been seen. The final burglaries involving the first stolen vehicle reported were on Aug. 18, in Gloucester Twp. where officers responded to three incidents.
During the multijurisdictional investigation, the stolen vehicle was found abandoned in Camden on Aug. 18.
Days later on Aug. 21, a second vehicle was reported stolen near the intersection of South 10th St. and Atlantic Ave. in Camden. Two hours later, police said the vehicle was reported to be involved in a smash-and-grab burglary in the Borough of Berlin.
Police located the second stolen vehicle near Wallace’s residence on the 200 block of Fairview St. in Lawnside. Wallace was arrested following a brief foot chase after officers observed him trying to enter the stolen vehicle.
Through the investigation, detectives obtained surveillance footage from a handful of the burglaries. A man matching Wallace’s description is captured in multiple videos.
After searching the stolen vehicles, law enforcement found items used in the burglaries, a cash register drawer, and a receipt with Wallace’s name on it.
Wallace was transported to the Camden County Correctional Facility awaiting a Centralized First Appearance.
All persons charged with crimes are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.