Man Accused of Using Blowtorches to Break Into, Burglarize Local Target Stores - NECN

Man Accused of Using Blowtorches to Break Into, Burglarize Local Target Stores

Most of the stolen items were electronics that could be easily sold for cash

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    Man Accused of Using Blowtorches to Break Into, Burglarize Local Target Stores
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    A Pennsylvania man is facing numerous charges for allegedly using a blowtorch to break into six Target stores in New England and Pennsylvania and steal nearly $200,000 in Apple iPhones and iPads.

    According to a federal indictment, stores in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut were among those targeted.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office said 35-year-old Elijah Aiken and a second, unnamed defendant broke into numerous Target stores in order to to steal electronic devices including cell phones and tablets that he could then transport across state lines and sell for money.

    He and his accomplice, whose name is redacted from the court paperwork, would use a portable cutting torch to cut a hole through a metal door at the stores and steal upwards of 50 Apple iPhones, iPads and other electronic devices. He would then transport the items into New York, where he would sell them.

    The alleged crimes are said to have occurred between December 2014 and February 2015. Most of the burglaries happened during the early morning hours when the stores were closed.

    The Target stores that were robbed were located in Southington and Torrington, Connecticut, Easton and Westborough, Massachusetts, Hooksett, New Hampshire, and Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania.

    The total value of the items stolen was in excess of $180,000.

    The first alleged theft occurred at the Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania Target on Dec. 6, 2014. According to the indictment, Aiken and his accomplice broke into the store and stole at least 15 iPads worth $5,250 and took them to New York to sell.

    Four days later, they allegedly broke into the Torrington, Connecticut store, stealing approximately 50 iPads worth about $22,000.

    Ten days after that, they broke into the Easton, Massachusetts store and allegedly stole $64,000 worth of iPhone, iPads and other electronic devices.

    Another 10 days later, they allegedly stole $90,000 worth of iPhones and iPads from a Target store in Westborough, Massachusetts.

    Aiken and his accomplice were finally arrested on Feb. 4, 2015 after robbing a Target in Southington, Connecticut when police found them hiding in the snow nearby.

    Aiken now faces charges of conspiracy to transport stolen goods in interstate commerce; interstate transportation of stolen goods; and interstate transportation of stolen goods, aiding and abetting.

    He is scheduled to be arraigned on Monday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Worcester.

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