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Burglary Spree Leads to State Prison Time for Two Men

February 23, 2016


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marc Furber, 215.348.6339, mjfurber@buckscounty.org


Two men who fed drug addictions by committing more than 20 commercial burglaries across Lower Bucks County were sentenced to state prison today in Bucks County Court.

Robert Runner, 32, of Croydon, was sentenced to serve 5 to 12 years for committing 27 burglaries or attempted burglaries. After serving that sentence, he will be placed on probation for another 8 years.

John Bruno III, 33, of Philadelphia, was sentenced to serve 2½ to 6 years of incarceration, followed by 14 years of probation, for 22 burglaries or attempted burglaries.

Both men told Judge Wallace H. Bateman Jr. that they were addicted to heroin and had committed the crimes to feed their habits. Bateman, warning that the two faced a lifelong struggle to stay off of drugs, indicated he would ask state prison officials to consider placing the men in units where they could continue to receive drug treatment.

Runner and Bruno also will have hefty debts to repay to their victims before their probation ends. Runner was ordered to pay restitution totaling $38,894, and Bruno was ordered to pay $34,394. The businesses they burglarized suffered losses ranging from cash and computer equipment to six bottles of champagne and three pricey guitars.

Runner also admitted burglarizing an equipment storage barn owned by a former employer, resulting in losses totaling $3,500.

Runner and Bruno committed most of the burglaries together between April 15 and July 3 last year. Typically they would strike at night when the businesses were closed, cutting phone and surveillance camera lines before forcing rear doors.

The epidemic of break-ins occurred in six municipalities – Bensalem, Bristol, Falls, Lower Southampton, Northampton and Upper Southampton Townships – and afflicted hair and nail salons, restaurants, pizzerias, delis, convenience stores, a bowling alley, a guitar repair shop and a tobacco products shop.

Two Northampton detectives, already familiar with Runner from investigating the burglary of his former employer, were able to identify him in a security video after Runner redeemed a $30 winning lottery ticket stolen in one of the burglaries.

After executing a search warrant at Runner’s home, detectives were able to identify Bruno as an accomplice through a search of Runner’s mobile phone. Both suspects eventually confessed to the crimes in interviews with detectives.

In court today, Runner acknowledged that he had thanked the detectives for saving his life by arresting him, thus ending his access to heroin.

“This burglary spree was solved due to the collaborative investigative work of detectives from six different Bucks County municipalities,” said Deputy District Attorney Marc J. Furber, who prosecuted the case. “Their tireless efforts were directly responsible for bringing the defendants to justice. The sentences imposed today ensure that the defendants will spend years of their life behind bars in state prison.”

Approved for release by Daniel B. Sweeney, Deputy District Attorney.

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Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
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Phone: 215-348-6344 
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