UPPER DUBLIN — A Philadelphia man was ordered to stand trial on charges he committed multiple daytime residential burglaries and attempted burglaries in Montgomery, Delaware and Philadelphia counties, including one during which he allegedly performed a sex act in view of a 102-year-old woman.
Raheem White, 41, of the 200 block of East Montana Street, was held for trial after he waived his preliminary hearing, before District Court Judge Patricia A. Zaffarano, on charges of burglary, attempted burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property, indecent assault, aggravated indecent assault and indecent exposure in connection with alleged incidents that occurred in the three counties between July 2020 and January 2021.
White, who is represented by defense lawyer Qawi Abdul-Rahman, remains in the county jail, unable to post bail, while he awaits his trial.
With the charges, authorities alleged White was linked to nine daytime residential burglaries and three attempted burglaries that occurred in Cheltenham Township, Lower Merion Township, Springfield Township, Upper Dublin Township and Jenkintown in Montgomery County; in Lansdowne in Delaware County; and in Philadelphia between July 13, 2020, and Jan. 13, 2021.
During the break-ins, White also had “three disturbing sexual interactions” with female residents in Delaware and Montgomery counties, according to the criminal complaint filed by Upper Dublin Detective Michael Lebby and Cheltenham Detective Matthew Gonglik.
The investigation began on July 13, 2020, when Lansdowne police investigated break-ins at residences along Richards Avenue and West Greenwood Avenue. One female resident told police she awakened to find a man in one of her bedrooms putting items into a plastic bag. The man, later identified as White, asked the woman, “Are you OK ma’am” as he moved his hand down her left side until reaching the top of her buttock, according to court papers. The woman yelled “Get your hands off me!” and White allegedly ran from the home.
On Jan. 9, 2021, a 102-year-old Cheltenham woman reported to police that she was sleeping in a chair about 2 p.m. when she was awakened by a man in the room who told her, “I’m not here to hurt you,” according to the criminal complaint. The victim said the man pushed his body against her so she could not get up and that she could not push him away “because he was too strong.” The man, later determined to be White, exposed himself to the woman, performed an indecent act in front of her and tried to pull her pants down, police alleged. White allegedly ransacked the residence before leaving.
Also on Jan. 9, an Upper Dublin woman reported to police that a man knocked on the door of her Martin Lane home and asked if she had ordered an Uber ride-share and when she said she had not he “wished her a Happy New Year, handed her mail to her and leaned into the homeowner’s screen door and attempted to kiss her,” detectives alleged. The interaction was captured by the victim’s home surveillance system, court papers indicate.
Other burglaries or attempted break-ins linked to White occurred along Buck Lane in Lower Merion on Dec. 25, 2020; along Hull Drive in Springfield, Montgomery County, on Jan. 4, 2021; along Twickenham Road in Cheltenham on Jan. 4, 2021; along Cresco Avenue in Philadelphia on Jan. 9, 2021; along Florence Avenue and along Runnymede Avenue in Jenkintown on Jan. 9, 2021; along Audubon Drive in Upper Dublin on Jan. 9, 2021; and along Stratford Avenue and Clyde Stone Drive in Cheltenham on Jan. 13, 2021, according to court papers.
The multi-jurisdictional investigation of the burglaries found that White targeted homes where vehicles were not parked in the driveway, and he attempted to determine if the occupants were home by knocking on front doors. If a resident was home, White allegedly would make an excuse for his presence and then leave.
In other homes, White allegedly gained entry through smashed windows and an unlocked basement door, according to the arrest affidavit.
“The suspect in this case ransacked bedrooms within the home and stole jewelry and cash, bypassing large electronic devices,” Lebby and Gonglik alleged in the criminal complaint, adding one victim’s medical marijuana also was stolen from a residence.
During the investigation, witnesses or video surveillance cameras placed a white Mercedes Benz sedan, similar to one linked to White, at or in the vicinity of the burglaries, authorities alleged. An analysis of cell phone data also placed White’s phone in the same locations as each of the burglaries, according to detectives.
White often committed multiple burglaries or attempted burglaries in one day, detectives alleged.
The case is being handled by Montgomery County prosecutors Scott Frank Frame and Lindsey Mills.