Morning Headlines: Home Buyer Tries to Burn Down House Before Finalizing Deal

Well, that's one way to get out of it...

Photo credit: Newtown Township Police Department's Facebook page.

Police officers (maybe even this guy?) found the man hiding out in his car near the home.
Photo credit: Newtown Township Police Department’s Facebook page.

In news that sounds like something out of a movie (starring Jim Carrey perhaps?), an Allentown man in the final stages of buying a home in Newtown Township tried to set the property on fire hours before finalizing the deal, among other things.

According to Jo Ciavaglia of the Courier Times, police found John Pfeiffer Jr. hiding out in his car after the sellers (who were spending one last night in their home) overheard him trying to break in:

Pfeiffer, who was expected to purchase the house with cash, had planned to use a counterfeit cashier’s check to make the purchase, according to court documents.
His wife reportedly told police later that her husband lied to her about borrowing $403,000 from his mother that he needed to buy the house, the reason they moved from Allentown and a job in Bensalem.

Newtown Township Police Cpl. Jason Harris, in court documents, said Pfeiffer’s plan was created ultimately to cover up “his lies.”

A few minutes later, police found a black Saturn parked nearby and a man matching the suspect’s description putting something in the trunk. The man — later identified as Pfeiffer — claimed he stopped to get familiar with the area.

Police found a lighter, latex gloves, and a paint can pry tool on him during a routine frisk at the station. In his car? Two cans of charcoal lighter fluid, hickory chips, and more latex gloves. He’s rumored to have said all those things were for a “weekend cookout.”

Pfeiffer’s wife, on the other hand, said no such cookout was ever discussed. What’s more, she claimed to have discovered a trail of lies surrounding the the home’s purchase:

She said the family moved out of their Allentown home a few weeks earlier after her husband claimed it was mold-infested. But she later found out that they had been evicted, court records show. She also found out he lied about having a new job in Bensalem and that his mother lent him the money to buy the Willow Court house, police said.

Ciavaglia reports Pfeiffer “was arraigned Tuesday before District Judge Philip Daly on felony burglary and related felony charges.” 

Cops: Man tried to break into Newtown Twp. home he planned to buy [Courier Times]

In other news…

Naming rights and the erosion of public space [NewsWorks]

Community Collective Pushing For Reuse Of Germantown Town Hall [Hidden City]

Committee reviews projects on East Market and West Girard [PlanPhilly]

Springfield Twp. plans $20 million municipal project [Chestnut Hill Local]

Debate continues over fate of Villas farmhouse in Newtown as developer proposes moving it to Newtown-Yardley Road [Bucks Local]