Police accuse couple of stealing from parked cars

A husband and wife allegedly broke into at least five parked cars and stole a sixth before police captured them last Wednesday.

Joseph Lemerise (left) and Mandy Lemerise,

A Lower Mayfair husband and wife were using a Northeast neighborhood as a personal piggy bank earlier this month as they allegedly broke into at least five parked cars and stole a sixth vehicle before undercover police captured them.

Members of the 8th Police District’s burglary detail arrested Joseph Lemerise, 42, and Mandy Lemerise, 29, on July 19 after the officers spotted them in a stolen car on the 8100 block of Cresco Avenue and followed them to the 2700 block of Winchester Avenue. It wasn’t the couple’s first contact with the law.

As recently as July 2, police arrested both husband and wife for the same exact thing — stealing a car and using it while attempting to steal items from other parked cars. After being released on their own recognizance on July 3, it didn’t take them long to resume their crime spree, authorities say.

On July 11, they allegedly stole a 2008 Chevy Impala from the home of a 78-year-old man on the unit block of Shipley Place. On July 15, a 39-year-old man reported someone had stolen a credit card and other property from his car on the 3100 block of Weston Street. Investigators later determined Joseph and Mandy Lemerise had allegedly used the missing credit card at a convenience store during the previous night.

Also on July 15, a woman, 43, reported someone stole about $2,300 in hair styling equipment from her car on the 8100 block of Albion Street. On July 17, a 56-year-old woman reported someone stole CDs from her car on the 2700 block of Maxwell Street. That same date, the Lemerises allegedly stole various items valued at about $450 from a car on the 2700 block of Tremont Street, as well as a license plate from the bumper of a car in the Whitman Plaza parking lot at 9745 Roosevelt Blvd.

The 8th district cops allegedly spotted the Lemerises in the stolen Impala near Cresco Avenue and Rhawn Street at around midnight on July 19. The officers followed the car to Winchester Avenue, where they arrested the suspects. The car had the stolen license plate affixed to its bumper. Police allegedly recovered the stolen hair styling equipment, CDs and other missing items.

According to public court records, Joseph Lemerise has at least 21 prior arrests dating to 1993, including 17 for theft and two for drug offenses. Mandy Lemerise has the one prior car theft arrest on her record.

Police are still trying to identify the rightful owners of other property recovered from the suspects. Victims are encouraged to call the 8th district at 215–686–3080 to claim stolen property. ••

William Kenny can be reached at 215–354–3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com. Follow the Times on Twitter @NETimesOfficial.