Judge dismisses numerous charges against Valley Green thefts-from-vehicles suspect

  (L-R, clockwise) Daniel Duncan, Aja Whetstone, Kisha Duncan. (Photos courtesy of Philadelphia Police)

(L-R, clockwise) Daniel Duncan, Aja Whetstone, Kisha Duncan. (Photos courtesy of Philadelphia Police)

At a Tuesday preliminary hearing, a municipal-court judge dismissed four cases brought against a man who police say they observed trying to break into a car parked near Valley Green Inn several months ago.

The dismissed cases involve prior alleged thefts from vehicles parked in the same location and in a parking lot elsewhere in the park on Bells Mill Road.

The hearing

An attorney for Daniel Duncan argued before Judge Nazario Jimenez Jr. that the district attorney’s office failed to produce eyewitness testimony for those prior cases.

Testifying for the prosecution, a Northwest Division detective read from statement given by Duncan after his June 4 arrest.

In that statement, Duncan confessed to stealing credit cards from a car parked in Wissahickon Valley Park on May 2.

According to the statement, the suspect also said he used one of the credit cards to purchase a television from a Best Buy in Willow Grove, which he later sold to a stolen-goods “fence.”

Police said Duncan also confessed to using his brother’s name as an alias. The arrest warrants out for the four related cases were under his brother’s name.

The prosecution attempted to link the defendant with those related cases through the statement, information given by the victims and Best Buy receipts.

Jimenez sided with the defense, dismissing the four related cases and three of six charges from the June 4 incident.

The judge said the officer’s testimony in that case could not link Duncan with conspiracy, criminal mischief or receiving stolen property, since police arrested him before he actually broke into the vehicle.

What’s next?

Duncan will stand trial on Oct. 6 on two counts of attempted theft and possessing an instrument of a crime. He remains in custody at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility.

Last week, the trial for Aja Whetstone and Kisha Duncan, who police arrested on June 4 along with Daniel Duncan, was postponed.

Police said Whetstone and Duncan arrived at the parking lot near Valley Green Inn in a car with Daniel Duncan and remained in the car while he attempted to break into a silver Mazda using a flathead screwdriver.

Whetstone denied the charges in a recent email to NewsWorks.

Whetstone and Duncan will go to trial on Oct. 6 in a separate case.

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