Chatty Burglar Cops to Break-In Spree
Clifton Curtis Thornton, out of prison just one year, admits to burglarizing several Haddonfield homes, police say.
A convicted burglar allegedly picked an unfortunately familiar way to celebrate his one-year release date from jail.
Clifton Curtis Thornton, 27, of North Main Street in Williamstown, was arrested this week on charges of breaking into a Redman Avenue home. After his capture, Thornton—who reportedly took the time during the break-in to wave to the homeowner—confessed to a burglary spree in town, Haddonfield Police said.
The homeowner called police at 9:30 a.m. Aug. 13 to report a man in the backyard who had entered a rear porch. The suspect was trying to enter the home through a locked back door when he spotted the homeowner—on the phone with emergency dispatch—and waved, before fleeing on a bicycle.
Haddonfield, Haddon Township, Collingswood and Delaware River Port Authority police spread out to look for Thornton, who was captured by Haddon Township Police on Haddon Avenue. Haddon Township Police reported Thornton also was wanted in that town for a burglary.
Thornton is an apparent creature of habit, according to Haddon Township Police. On the day of his arrest, he was wearing the same Phillies hat and gray shirt he wore during an earlier alleged burglary. Thornton was caught on surveillance tape at the Westmont speedline station after allegedly burglarizing a Westmont Avenue home in Haddon Township on Aug. 7.
Thornton agreed to cooperate with police and identified the homes he broke into, including five in Haddonfield, police said.
He was charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief and possession of burglar’s tools. Thornton was held at Gloucester County Jail on $60,000 bail.
Thornton has a criminal history, according to state records. He pleaded guilty to burglary charges in 2009 and received a four-year prison sentence. He was released early on Aug. 16, 2011.