Busted at the bus station
Suspect nabbed with ticket to ride in hand
A suburban burglar who tried to escape to L.A. aboard a motor coach Sunday night was bus-ted by Upper Darby and Philadelphia police at the Greyhound terminal in Center City thanks to an observant social-media user, police said.
Gartor Kiki Brown, 27, allegedly tried to bolt on a bus to the West Coast once he learned that police were hot on his trailways, but cops put the brakes on his magical mystery tour before it went any farther and instead gave him a one-way ride to prison.
According to Upper Darby police Superintendent Michael Chitwood, Brown, who was living in an acquaintance's basement on Aberdeen Road near Millbank in Upper Darby, decided to burglarize the home of the elderly couple who lived next door when they went to the store on Friday afternoon.
Another neighbor who spotted Brown breaking into the house and leaving with a duffle bag full of items called the cops and reported the theft, police said.
Cops identified the thief as Brown and determined that he stole valuable coins, checkbooks and other items from the elderly couple, who are 89 and 93 years old, Chitwood said.
Authorities executed a search warrant on the house where Brown was staying and discovered 80 separate forms of identification along with stolen jewelry, check books and credit cards in the basement where he was living, according to Chitwood.
"We think he's part of a whole team of burglars," Chitwood said. "Apparently, it's a ring of sh--heads who are terrorizing Upper Darby and Lansdowne."
By the time police executed the search warrant on Friday evening, Brown had gone into hiding, so Upper Darby police, who have a vibrant presence on Twitter and Facebook, took to their social media accounts to track him down, Chitwood said.
One of their 25,000 followers across the two platforms called police Sunday night and said that Brown was about to board a bus from Philadelphia to Los Angeles at the Greyhound terminal on Filbert Street near 10th.
Chitwood sent a few of his officers to the terminal, and they were joined by officers from the Philadelphia Police Department.
"Lo and behold, we get the guy at the bus station, and he's got his bus ticket to California in his hand," Chitwood said. "He was really fleeing - from one coast to the other - but he never made it to sunny California."
Brown was arrested and charged with burglary, theft, receiving stolen property and related offenses. He remains in Delaware County Prison in lieu of $500,000 bail.