David Toledo has been arraigned on 49 counts of criminal mischief, seven counts of possession of an instrument of crime and five counts of false reports. His bail is set at $270,000.
For months, residents of the block had been victims of vandalism, waking up many mornings to find their tires slashed, or the air let out. David Toledo was among them, but it turns out he isn’t a victim.
“He betrayed us,” Martelack told NEast Philly late Wednesday afternoon after initial reports indicated Toledo was a town watch member. In fact, Toldeo never received town watch training. Instead, Martelack believes Toldeo expressed interest in joining the rejuvenated neighborhood watch group to get a sense of how it works so he could proceed to vandalize several dozen cars on his own block.
“At no point did he do anything beneficial for the community whatsoever,” Martelack said of Toldeo.
City records indicate Toledo and Yvonne Fanning bought the house on Aldine Street last March. It’s a well-kept house with a wreath on the door, colorful butterfly wind chimes hanging over the porch and a baby gate across the front steps to keep the dog inside. The house was quiet and seemingly empty until a woman opened the front door around just before 8 p.m. to walk the dog. TV cameras were on the porch before she was off it, and neighbors left their own stoops to see just what goes on inside the house of a man charged with victimizing his neighbors.
VIDEO: Mayfair Civic Association President Joe DeFelice and Mayfair Town Watch President speak about David Toledo and his lack of affiliation with the town watch.
Mayfair residents have been on edge since the crimes began late last year and picked up in the last few months. Martelack called a meeting in late February, just as the town watch was beginning training. He, Mayfair Civic Association President Joe DeFelice and 15th District Police Capt. Frank Bachmayer vowed to stay on the case, encouraging residents to become more involved with town watch. Town watch has since begin training for interested members. Toledo did not take part in any training session, nor did he follow up with the group to do so, according to Martelack.
VIDEO: 15th District Capt. Frank Bachmayer speaks highly of the Mayfair Town Watch and invites Aldine Street residents to a meeting to further discuss Toledo’s arrest and how they can get involved with town watch.
So how is someone to know who’s on Mayfair and Town Watch and who isn’t? All certified town watch members carry ID, Martelack said. The group also has an active Facebook page and a new website and Twitter account where updates are posted regularly. To address residents of the 4000-block of Aldine Street and nearby blocks, Martelack and Bachmayer will hold a meeting tonight at 7:30 at the PAL center on the 4300-block of Aldine Street. Bachmayer, meanwhile, has discouraged vigilante justice, asking Aldine Street residents to let law enforcement handle the matter.
“Let the justice system take care of Mr. Toledo,” Bachmayer said. “We don’t want any type of retaliation.”
Shortly after 8 p.m., Toledo’s house was quiet again. Some news vans had dispersed, and only a few determined camera crews remained on the porch. The sun that was beating down when Martelack arrived at 6:15 was gone, replaced by wind and the encroaching night time. DeFelice had taken his young son home to prepare for bed, and residents of Aldine Street had put sweatshirts over their T-shirts. David Toledo remained in custody.