The men police say could be responsible for more than five dozen break-ins over the past couple months -- some that involved a thrown brick -- are behind bars this morning.
The accused “brick bandits” were captured after an attempted burglary in the South Jersey neighborhood the men have targeted during their alleged crime spree, according to Winslow Township Police.
Police say Daimer Kellam, 20, and Eric Schmitt, 29, ran off after allegedly breaking the glass of an elderly couple’s home on Chews Landing Road in Sicklerville Friday evening. About 90 minutes earlier, investigators say the duo was scared off while trying to enter a nearby vacant home.
Kellam and Schmitt were unaware that detectives were discretely tracking them on Friday after a lengthy investigation helped investigators zero in on the duo known for allegedly using a brick to get into a home before rummaging around for items including shoes, electroivs and watches. After the second incident, police gave chase, following the men to the apartment that shared in the Tamerlane Apartment Complex off Chews Landing Road near the Atlantic City Expressway.
After a brief struggle, investigators say they arrested Kellam and Schmitt.
Police say officers also responded to the home the duo allegedly tried to break into to find the elderly residents shaken up by the incident but otherwise unharmed. On the couple’s kitchen floor was a brick and shattered glass from the rear sliding door, according to investigators.
A search of Kellam and Schmitt’s home revealed various items believed to be from previous burglaries, according to police.
Kellam and Schmitt were each charged with five counts of burglary, conspiracy, theft, criminal mischief, and resisting arrest and sent to Camden County Jail unable to post $100,000 cash bail.
Despite the arrests, the investigation is far from over -- police say their were 65 similar type of burglaries in the area since September.
Detectives continued to try and link the alleged brick bandits to earlier incidents and also worked to figure out if any additional suspects were involved, according to police.
Investigators say they will try to reunite victims with their stolen items.