Saturday, October 11, 2014
Cops: Man tried to break into Newtown Twp. home he planned to buy
Posted: Wednesday, October 8, 2014
A 48-year-old Allentown man is accused of trying to break into a Newtown Township home to set a fire in an attempt to circumvent his purchase of the property just hours before the deal was to be finalized.
The plan was thwarted when the seller unexpectedly spent a last night in the home that John Pfeiffer Jr. believed was vacant when he showed up shortly before 7 a.m. Sept. 5, according to Newtown Township police.
Pfeiffer, who was expected to purchase the house with cash, had planned to use a counterfeit cashier’s check to make the purchase, according to court documents.
His wife reportedly told police later that her husband lied to her about borrowing $403,000 from his mother that he needed to buy the house, the reason they moved from Allentown and a job in Bensalem.
Newtown Township Police Cpl. Jason Harris, in court documents, said Pfeiffer’s plan was created ultimately to cover up “his lies.”
The owner of the house in the 10 block of Willow Court told police that she and her kids were awakened by several loud bangs on a rear glass door. When she went to check, she saw a man with a white grocery bag outside who appeared to be trying to get inside.
When she yelled, the man ran away.
A few minutes later, police found a black Saturn parked nearby and a man matching the suspect’s description putting something in the trunk. The man — later identified as Pfeiffer — claimed he stopped to get familiar with the area.
Police took him into custody after finding out he had an active arrest warrant in Lehigh County for a bad check charge. While frisking him, police said they found a lighter, a paint can pry tool and several pairs of latex gloves in his pocket.
Pfeiffer said that he and his family had been staying at a nearby hotel, he couldn’t sleep so around 5:30 a.m. he decided to visit the house, according to a probable cause affidavit. He claimed he was startled to find a woman inside the home yelling at him, which is why he ran back to his car.
The officer found a white bag along with two cans of charcoal lighter fluid in the trunk of Pfeiffer’s car, a bag of hickory chips on the car floor, as well as another box of latex gloves, court records show.
Pfeiffer allegedly claimed that the items were for a planned weekend cookout at the new house.
The homeowner and real estate agent confirmed that Pfeiffer and his wife were scheduled to buy the home at 11 a.m. that day, according to court documents.
Later that day, Pfeiffer’s wife, Kelly, showed up at police headquarters claiming she found out her husband lied to her about the house and other things, police said.
She said the family moved out of their Allentown home a few weeks earlier after her husband claimed it was mold-infested. But she later found out that they had been evicted, court records show. She also found out he lied about having a new job in Bensalem and that his mother lent him the money to buy the Willow Court house, police said.
Kelly Pfeiffer also reportedly denied knowing anything about plans for a weekend cookout at the new home.