D.A.: Man stole 31 contractor vans in Northeast Philadelphia

Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams
District Attorney Seth Williams. (Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro)

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office has charged two people in connection with a wide-reaching contractor van and tool theft ring.

David Zagami, 38, of Croydon, is accused of stealing 31 Econoline and Cheverolet Express contractor vans, as well as stealing tools from the inside of an additional 19 vans and several buildings.

“Zagami targeted small contractors and when he stole their vans and equipment he literally stole their livelihood,” District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement.

“In these tough economic times this is especially troubling. Numerous families had to struggle to make ends meet because of Zagami’s cold and calculated actions, and I comment the police for their excellent work in finding him.”

Zagami allegedly stole the vans from the far North and Northeast sections of Philadelphia between July 2012 and January 2013.

Prosecutors said he would take the vans’ contents – including assorted hand and power tools, ladders, electronics and construction equipment – and then dump the vehicles in Bucks County.

Authorities believe Zagami made between $400 and $600 for the items stolen from each vehicle.

All of the abandoned vans were found with their locks and ignitions damaged and recovered within a one-mile radius of Zagami’s hometown.

Also charged is Eric Guerra Chacon, 37, of the 200 block of Louden Street in Philadelphia.

Chacon allegedly received the stolen property from Zagami and attempted to sell it.

Zagami was arraigned Tuesday night.

He is charged with 56 counts of theft, receiving stolen property, criminal mischief, possession of an instrument of  crime and conspiracy.

Zagami is being held on $1.1 million bail.

Chacon turned himself into police on May 3 and is currently being held on an ICE detainer.

He is charged with conspiracy and receiving stolen property.

Both men are next due in court on May 10.


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