An Allentown man who found area Dollar Tree stores financially attractive for more than just their everything-is-$1 offerings has admitted to burglarizing eight of them to get cash from their safes.
Online court records say Richard Weatherspoon, 43, pleaded guilty last week in Lehigh County Court, where the burglary cases were consolidated. He netted almost $15,000 from the burglaries, according to The Express Times.
Judge Maria Dantos set sentencing for Feb. 19. Weatherspoon remained in Lehigh County Prison on $250,000 bail.
His former address, 116 N. Fourth St., Room 10, Allentown, is just a block north of the prison.
According to the newspaper, Dollar Tree stores that Weatherspoon admitted burglarizing include locations at:
- 1854 Stefko Blvd. and 2124 W. Union Blvd., both in Bethlehem.
- 2499 Northampton St., Palmer Township.
Weatherspoon was arrested last July 5 following the burglary at the Stefko Boulevard store. At that time, police suspected he was the burglar at the other Dollar Tree stores, according to court records.
The criminal complaint in the Stefko case said that in all the Dollar Store burglaries, the goal was to get money out of the safe. And all of the safes were entered the same way -- holes were drilled and a saw was used to cut a larger hole.
After his arrest, Weatherspoon admitted to burglarizing the Stefko store, the complaint said. He escaped with about $1,000.
Surveillance video taken after the previous Whitehall Township burglary showed the getaway car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a discolored driver’s side front door.
About three hours after the Stefko burglary was reported, Allentown police stopped a gray 1998 Grand Cherokee with a black driver’s side front door. Weatherspoon was driving, the complaint says.
Inside the vehicle, police found various tools, including a reciprocating saw and blades, a drill and drill bits, a crow bar and a hammer. After getting a search warrant, police recovered the tools, as well as $415.91.