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Three men accused in 5 home burglaries

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Saturday, April 27, 2013, 12:51 a.m.

Three men are accused of burglarizing four houses in O'Hara.

Michael Birch, 25, of Mount Royal Court, Shaler; William Lyons, 30, of Cecil Street, Sharpsburg; and Todd Beam, 26, of Jackman Avenue, Avalon, also are accused of trying to break into a house along Rose Drive in Indiana Township.

Allegheny County detectives are investigating to see if the men are responsible for break-ins and thefts in Aspinwall, Sharpsburg, Fox Chapel and Shaler, several police chiefs said.

All of the burglaries started with someone kicking in a rear door or breaking a window, police said.

Police said one of the suspects owns a blue pickup like one seen in some of the affected neighborhoods and another has a blue minivan allegedly seen in Shaler after a burglary.

The suspects were stopped by police after a Shaler police officer saw Birch and Lyons being dropped off along Rose Drive, Indiana Township, and the vehicle continuing to Middle Road.

The pair was taken into custody in the yard of the house, and police said they found two empty heroin packets on the ground near them.

Beam, who police say dropped them off, was stopped by an assisting Hampton officer on Middle Road, Indiana Township, according to Indiana Township Detective Steve Colucci.

In their arrest papers, O'Hara police are accusing the men of breaking into residences along Glenn Avenue, Parkview Boulevard and Canterbury Drive.

Among the stolen items was jewelry valued at thousands of dollars.

Birch and Lyons are charged in O'Hara with four counts each of burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and criminal mischief and three counts each of theft, and receiving stolen property.

Beam is charged there with three counts each of burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, theft, criminal mischief and a single count of receiving stolen property.

Indiana Township police are accusing Birch and Lyons of attempted burglary, conspiracy and a drug charge.

Beam is charged with attempted burglary and conspiracy.

The O'Hara and Indiana Township charges are scheduled for preliminary hearings May 8 before District Judge Elissa M. Lang in Sharpsburg.

In June, Birch and Lyons are slated to have a preliminary hearing in Shaler for allegedly receiving stolen property, theft from a vehicle and conspiracy to take items from vehicles.

On April 23, Avalon police charged Beam with two drug charges.

Beam has waived to court theft and access device fraud charges in Ross from February.

Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711

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