Many car break-ins could have been prevented in West Mt. Airy, according to Philadelphia’s 14th Police District Captain.
“You would be surprised what people leave inside their vehicles,” said Dales, adding that thefts from cars are most often crimes of opportunity resulting from people leaving expensive items in cars and leaving the doors unlocked.
Captain Joel Dales and Lt. Deshawn Beaufort met with neighbors last Thursday night for the department’s monthly meeting for Public Service Area (PSA) 3. The gathering was held at the Germantown Jewish Centre.
“PSA 3, for those of you who don’t know, is a very big PSA,” said Beaufort. “It’s very, very vast.” PSA 3 is also home to many larger and nicer homes and vehicles than some other areas, and therefore attracts more criminals.
According to Dales, property crimes are up slightly this year in his district, and are the most prevalent type of crime. Violent crime has decreased, he said. But for the 14th District officers overall its been a busy year with arrests up 53 percent this year.
Some residents complained about kids hanging out on the C.W. Henry School grounds at night and making noise well past curfew. Other residents from E. Coulter Street complained about constant prostitution on their street.
Although Dales said that removing prostitutes from the street is important, he emphasized the need for more serious and lasting charges to be connected to the criminals. He said that the case was being worked on, but that results would not be immediate and that detectives were working on attaching drugs and other offenses to the culprits.
Dales and Beaufort both recommended that all people present start a town watch for their neighborhood to aid police and to abate crime.