Press

Man Sentenced for Crime Spree

Philadelphia Daily News

Horsham’s Unamed Suspect will spend up to two years in county prison for a daylong crime spree in November 2003.

In one day, Horsham’s Unnamed suspect stole a car, burglarized a house and made a series of fraudulent purchases at Willow Grove Park Mall.

All of the crimes were committed against the same couple -Upper Dublin’s James and Suzanne Adelsberger – and on Friday 21 -year-old Suspect was sentenced to up to two years in Montgomery County Prison and three years probation. He will be eligible for work release.

“I think it was the sentence we asked for,” Assistant District Attorney Nicole McCauley said afterward. “I think jail time certainly was warranted in this case due to the premeditated nature…It was very calculated, if you look at the actions. He victimized that family three times.”

On Oct. 31, 2003, Suzanne Adelsberger dropped off her Ford Escort station wagon at Gissondi’s Sunoco station in Horsham for inspection the next day. According to court documents, Suspect broke into the Welsh Road garage overnight, found the station wagon’s key and used it to steal the vehicle.

Suspect then used the car’s registration paperwork to locate Adelsberger’s home.

On Nov. 1, Adelsberger returned to the gas station and learned that the car had been stolen. While she was thee speaking with police, suspect broke into her Holmes Road residence and stole a television, DVD player, jewelry, alcohol and several of James Adelsberger’s credit cards.

Court documents indicated that Suspect then drove the stolen car, which contained the items the had taken from the house, to Willow Grove Park mall where he used the credit cards to purchase almost $400 in merchandise. Police caught him leaving the mall.

“He didn’t know them,” recalled Upper Dublin police Detective Ken Whisler. “It was a random thing. He had some personal issues but they had nothing to do with those poor people…It was a weird night.”

Defense attorney Michael Diamondstein said that when the crimes occurred, Suspect had been drinking heavily and struggling with mental health issues that required several medications.

“He committed a horrific crime out of the blue for no apparent reason,” he said. “He has had no further criminal contacts. He admitted that he did. You don’t see someone commit random acts like he did without it being symptomatic of something else. This is not the type of action of a bad person. It is the type of action of someone who had a bad day or a bad period.”

Before Montgomery County Judge William Furber sentenced Suspect, the 21-year-old apologized for what he dad done.

“I feel terrible and ashamed of myself,” he said. “This has put a negative light on the way people look at me. I hate myself for this. I can’t accept that it was me. I’m very sorry.”

He added that he always treats others with the same respect that they treat him.

McCauley shot back that he certainly did not treat the Adelsberger family with respect.

“Did you know them?” she asked rhetorically. “You broke into a garage, stole a truck, stalked that home and waited until they weren’t home and broke in. Then you stole their credit cards and used them for a shopping spree at the mall. How does that fit in with your respecting others?”

While Furber acknowledge that Suspect was having personal problems at the time of the crimes, he stressed that burglary is a serious offense.

“People want to be safe in their homes,” he said. “(With burglary) you always run the danger of confronting someone unexpectedly. It’s such an emergent, dangerous situation where people are opt to be hurt. That’s why it is graded as highly as it is.”

By: Staff Writer