Teens charged with dozens of burglaries, car thefts that took place overnight for months

(As originally published with additional photos, Thu, November 9th 2023, 6:36 PM EST; local article here)

YORK, Pa. (TND) — Convenience stores and other small businesses have been burglarized as part of a crime wave in south-central Pennsylvania. Now, police in York say they arrested two of the three people responsible.

Investigators say they linked multiple incidents to Jelani Gassama and Joseph Lugo-Nazario using surveillance video and other evidence.

They explained, the suspects, both 19, “would typically steal a motor vehicle in the city and then burglarize multiple businesses in one night. This would occur overnight, multiple times a week.”

And authorities added, it happened from late August until they were arrested.

Gassama and Lugo-Nazari are blamed for tens of thousands of dollars in damage to the businesses and police said they “stole just as much if not more in cash and merchandise.”

Finally, police identified Gassama and Lugo-Nazario.

Gassama was arrested last month on unrelated charges, but the vehicle thefts and burglaries didn’t stop.

Police said Jelani Gassama (left, in Oct. 2023) and Joseph Lugo-Nazario (Nov. 8, 2023) “would typically steal a motor vehicle in the city and then burglarize multiple businesses in one night.” (York City Police Dept.)

Police say Lugo-Nazario and a third unknown person were seen on video committing similar crimes.

On Wednesday, investigators with help from the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force found Lugo-Nazario and arrested him without incident.

Gassama was charged with 21 counts of burglary and 4 counts of theft for stealing motor vehicles.

Lugo-Nazario was charged with 31 counts of burglary and 5 counts of theft for stealing motor vehicles.

Investigators are still working to identify the third suspect.

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