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November 13, 2023

Danelo Cavalcante allegedly stole a knife, razor and rifle during 2-week manhunt, prosecutors say

The convicted murderer, who escaped from Chester County Prison in late August, has been charged with burglary, theft and trespassing

Investigations Burglary
Danelo Cavalcante charges Source/Chester County D.A.'s office

Convicted killer Danelo Cavalcante, shown above escaping from Chester County Prison earlier this year, faces 20 new charges, including nine felonies, stemming from his time on the run.

Danelo Cavalcante is facing 20 new charges stemming from the two-week manhunt that shut down multiple schools and Longwood Gardens earlier this year. 

The convicted killer captured national attention when he escaped from Chester County Prison on Aug. 31 and evaded authorities until being captured 14 days later in South Coventry Township. The state has charged him with multiple counts of burglary, theft and trespassing for actions he allegedly committed during his time on the lam.

Charging documents filed Monday accuse Cavalcante of stealing clothing, a backpack, a paring knife, a men's razor, a rifle and a white Ford Transit van from four Chester County residents. He is also charged with trespassing on two residences and illegal possession of a firearm. Nine of the charges are felony offenses.

Cavalcante first broke into a Pennsbury Township home on Sept. 1 while the owners slept, authorities said. He allegedly took several items from the kitchen and basement, later identified by the owners, before fleeing out the back door.

On Sept. 9, a witness reported seeing Cavalcante "operating a white SUV or work van," which authorities identified as a missing 2020 Ford Transit van. It was located Sept. 10, but there was no sign of Cavalcante on the scene. 

The next evening, state troopers received a report of a person breaking into a South Coventry Township garage and stealing a rifle loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition. The homeowner's description matched that of Cavalcante, who was apprehended two days later with the rifle in his possession.

"The defendant used all means necessary to escape from prison and stay hidden from authorities. These offenses aided his efforts and elevated his threat to the public," Pennsylvania Attorney General Michelle Henry said. "Thanks to the diligent efforts of law enforcement, Cavalcante is in custody and will be prosecuted for all of his crimes. My office is committed to keeping Pennsylvanians safe and holding those accountable who jeopardize the public’s well being."

Cavalcante was serving a life sentence for murdering his ex-girlfriend Deborah Brandao when he fled prison. He was arraigned on felony escape charges upon his capture.

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