Capt. Johnson issues auto theft alert for 39th District

Captain Verdell Johnson, Commanding Officer of the Philadelphia Police’s 39th District, has reported an increase in auto thefts this year.

Headquartered on Hunting Park Avenue, the 39th District patrols an area of five square miles that serves more than 60,000 residents, according to Capt. Johnson and census data. It contains three Police Service Areas. PSA-1, the largest geographical service area, includes East Falls and sections of Germantown and North Philadelphia.

Captain Johnson reported that, across the 39th District, 86 thefts from autos were reported for the year, as of Mar. 18.

During a similar period last year, the 39th experienced 77 such thefts.

This represents a 12-percent increase.

To combat this trend, the 39th District has released a crime bulletin reinforcing common-sense solutions to prevent becoming a victim of this trend.

The bulletin emphasizes locking one’s vehicle, securing all valuables, parking in well-lit areas, and activating theft-deterrent devices. Calling 911 is recommended if individuals are seen peering into vehicles, or touching them.

The Captain explained that this trend could easily be mitigated by increased awareness on the part of vehicle owners.

“The sad thing,” Captain Johnson said, “is that a good portion [of these thefts] would not happen if the victims kept valuables in the house and not visible inside of the vehicles.”

To learn more about these trends, attend the 39th District’s Town Hall meeting on March 26, or the PSA-1 community meeting on March 28. Visit the 39th District’s website for further information.

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