A shuttered school in East Falls was the site of a major burglary in September – one that wasn’t reported to police for almost a month.
On Oct. 9, 39th District police were told by an unnamed school administrator that on Sept. 18, an unknown person or persons entered the vacant Delaware Valley High School site on the 4300 block of Kelly Drive between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. and removed 40 WYSE computers, 15 Mitsubishi 32-inch LCD televisions, and one aquarium and stand.
The administrator, a 42-year-old white male whose name was redacted in the police report, also indicated that the alarm and camera systems were disabled. No signs of forcible entry were present and no witnesses were listed.
The estimated cost of the items taken in the heist: $29,858.
The school’s troubled past
DVHS moved into the site in 2009, over the objections of at least 1,000 East Falls residents who signed petitions against it.
The School District of Philadelphia severed its business relationship with DVHS prior to the current school year amid lawsuits, financial woes and an ongoing FBI probe reportedly investigating whether David Shulick, the for-profit school’s chief executive officer, used political influence to secure district contracts.
Chaka “Chip” Fattah Jr., the son of Philadelphia U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah and a consultant who has done work for DVHS, is also reportedly a target of the probe.
Two-hundred students were sent to Phase 4, a not-for-profit organization with an emphasis on online instruction, which was tapped by the District to take over DVHS’s former site in Southwest Philadelphia. The remaining 300 students who had attended the disciplinary school at the DVHS Kelly campus were redistributed to other “transition schools” in other parts of the city.
Shulick, who made headlines again Tuesday in regard to his lawsuit against former DVHS employees, was not immediately available for comment about the burglary.
As reported by NewsWorks last month, the site is now empty, with the only activity reported being landscapers trimming bushes and grass. Mark Sherman, owner of the property, said at the time that he’s settling details of his lease with DVHS, and will then consider a lease or sale of the site, potentially to another school or developer.
Sherman was not immediately available on Tuesday for comment.
Very little ‘solvability’
At the time of police notification, the DVHS crime scene was processed for evidence but none was recovered.
Officials with the Philadelphia Police Department’s Northwest Detective Division told NewsWorks on Tuesday that the burglary had very little “solvability,” as the crime occurred well before police notification and that no surveillance footage was available to them.