PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 40-year-old man was arrested on Friday for allegedly stealing six Philadelphia properties, the district attorney announced. Robert Stokes, 40, was charged with 13 counts of forgery, 7 counts of theft by deception, 9 counts of tampering with records or identification and other related charges.
All of the notary stamps and signatures that Stokes used were identical and fraudulent. He also used the same Pennsylvania driver’s license and signature when he recorded the fraudulent deeds with the Visitor Register at the City Hall Department of Records.
The houses he stole include 1512 S. Lambert Street, 1514 S. Lambert Street, 1524 S. Lambert Street, 1539 S. Capitol Street, 1546 S. Capitol Street, and 1547 S. Capitol Street.
Stokes received all the properties for $25,000, $26,000, and $4,000.
The investigation found that he forged the signatures of the properties’ owners because they were either unaware of the transaction or deceased. In one case the person managing the property was unaware of the transaction.
Officials also found the notarization and stamp on the deed were counterfeit.
“Last month we announced the prosecution of several house thefts, and today I’m pleased to announce the prosecution of another person who thought that it was okay to steal properties belong to poor people, the elderly, and the deceased,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “I’d like to thank our governmental partners for their cooperation, the office’s Economic and Cyber Crimes Unit, and take this opportunity [to] remind everyone to protect their estate and contact us at 215-686-9902 if they think their home has been stolen.”