Police: Property crimes steady, rise in robberies and thefts from vehicles in PSA-3

While property crimes are static, officers in parts of the 14th Police District are turning their attention to an increase in robberies.

At a recent meeting of the 14th District’s Police Service Area 3, which includes West Mt. Airy and sections of Germantown, officials reported that six robberies took place between March 14 to April 17.


By way of comparison, from Feb. 26 to March 13, one robbery was reported.

Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum, ranking officer in PSA-3, said that there is no distinct geographical pattern to the robberies, although most are taking place along the Germantown Avenue business corridor. Rosenbaum suggested that since many robberies are taking place in the afternoon, some could be attributed to “apple picking,” the targeted theft of iPhones, often from students.

Property crimes in PSA-3

In terms of property crimes, seven burglaries occurred in PSA-3 from March to April, up one from the previous statistical period. Rosenbaum indicated that one vehicle associated with several of those robberies, but has eluded capture by the Philadelphia Police.

Of the remaining burglaries, two occurred at the same apartment building on the 100 block of Allens Lane.Rosenbaum reported that copper pipes were the object of the burglar’s attention. In the thief’s haste, he cut the pipes while one apartment resident was in the midst of a shower. Confronted by a resident, the suspect were recognized and identified by tenants of the building. Police were called, and the suspect was subsequently arrested.

“Since then, there hasn’t been a problem around there,” said Rosenbaum. “God only knows what else he was stealing.”

An arrest was also made in the burglary of a Germantown day care center. As reported by NewsWorks, Khari Jones, of W. Duval St., was arrested by police in connection to the theft of an Acer touchscreen desktop computer from the Kids Are Fit Day Care Center on the 6100 block of Germantown Ave.

The break in was captured by surveillance cameras and widely released by police earlier in April.

According to a police press release, the 22-year-old Jones was hiding in a third-floor closet when detectives and uniformed officers came knocking at around 9 p.m. on April 15. He is being charged with burglary and related offenses.

“We arrested him within five hours,” said Rosenbaum, who indicated that Jones may be connected to other recent property crimes in the area.

Warm weather concerns

Theft from vehicles has jumped in recent weeks, with seven being recorded during the March to April timeframe. Many took place in the Germantown end of PSA-3, with the 5500 and 5800 blocks of Greene St. being particularly targeted. During the preceding month, no such thefts were recorded, which Rosenbaum attributed to a key arrest made by police.

While most of the car break ins are occurring in the late afternoon, Rosenbaum offered that the majority of the thefts are being limited to business corridors.

“They’re not coming into neighborhoods anymore,” he said.

With summer approaching, the attention of police is being turned to teenagers who will no longer be governed by the strictures of school, with particular scrutiny being given to roving crowds of kids. Rosenbaum asked those in attendance at the meeting to contact him with relevant information.

“If any of these problems come up, send me an email and I’ll be out there right away,” he said. “I’m going to try to nip it in the bud early.”

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