As the school year wraps up and summer vacation begins, 14th District officials are reminding parents and kids about city-implemented curfews for minors. Officials also noted that mirroring citywide trends, property crime is continuing its downward trend in West Mt. Airy and sections of Germantown.
As reported by 14th District police officers earlier this month, robberies, burglaries and thefts from vehicles have all decreased in the recent statistical period. From mid-March to mid-April, six robberies, seven burglaries, and seven thefts from autos were recorded in Police Service Area Three (PSA-3).
From April 18 to May 19, five robberies, two burglaries, and four thefts from autos were reported. During the same time period, two aggravated assaults and nine episodes of vandalism also occurred, slight increases over the previous month’s recorded episodes.
Be wary of posting on social media
The two burglaries that occurred during this time period both occurred during the daytime hours, with one on the 200 block of W. Sedgwick St. being reported at 5 p.m., and the other on the 100 block of W. Duval St. being reported at approximately 4 p.m.
Subsequent to this statistical period, Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum of the 14th District added that two additional burglaries were reported on back to back days. In both cases, the occupants of the house were asleep while the intruders entered.
Rosenbaum said that due to this pattern, additional officers are patrolling the streets in plainclothes. In addition, Rosenbaum related that burglaries have been on the uptick in Lower Merion, suggesting to police that thieves are targeting high-end neighborhoods.
To help in combating break-ins, Rosenbaum asked that residents be especially wary of announcing vacations and other lengthy stays away from home on social media. He explained that this is particularly evident with regard to teenagers, whose announcements on Facebook and Twitter can lead their peers to commit burglaries.
“We always know when it’s a kid because all the jewelry is still there,” he said, “but the Xbox, the Wii games, the PlayStation, and the DS are all gone.”
Reporting graffiti spottings
With regard to vandalism, Rosenbaum said that they have been spread throughout PSA-3, with the two closest to each other occurring at the lower end of the sector near Queen Lane in Germantown. He indicated that most vandalism is broken car windows, relating a recent episode where a drunk individual broke three car windows. He was arrested by police shortly thereafter.
In response to resident’s concerns about rises in tagging, Rosenbaum noted that those who see grafitti can call-in their reports to the police. He explained that this allows police to look for patterns and build cases when applicable.
City curfews for minors
With summer weather encroaching, Rosenbaum and others in the 14th District are being mindful about the let-out of school, and are encouraging parents to remind their children to be mindful about curfew laws.
Per city ordinance, minors 13 and under will have a curfew of 8 p.m. during the school year and 9 p.m. during the summer, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. Minors ages 14 through 15 will have a 9 p.m. curfew during the school year and a 10 p.m. curfew during the summer. Minors aged 16 and 17 will have a 10 p.m. curfew during the school year and an 11 p.m. curfew during the summer.
If caught breaking curfew, minors will be taken to the respective police district headquarters where their parents or guardians will be contacted. They will receive a notice or citation when they collect their child from the station, carrying a penalty of up to $500. If a parent or guardian cannot be reached, PPD will contact the Department of Human Services to initiate an investigation.
Minors can be temporarily excused from the curfew if engaged in lawful employment, participating in legitimate business as directed by the minor’s parents, or if the minor is with a parent or guardian.
While targeted enforcement areas are limited to Center City and West Philadelphia, Rosenbaum said that that his officers will be diligent about enforcement.
“If your kids are out there, they’re going to get written up,” he said.