Arrests made in local porch package thefts and burglaries

Police announced this week that several arrests were made in response to crimes recently committed in East Falls, Southwest Germantown, and Allegheny West. 

At Monday’s Police Service Area One meeting held at the 39th Police District’s headquarters on Hunting Park Ave., Lt. Edward Bier told community members that a half dozen arrests have been made in prior weeks for a variety of crimes in their section of the 39th District.

Among the apprehensions was the arrests of three teenagers in connection to the burglary of an East Falls home in March.

According to police reports, on Mar. 8 at approximately 5 p.m., police responded to a burglary alarm at a residence on the 3900 block of Netherfield Rd. Upon entry, police found three offenders inside the garage. Police determined that entry was made through the rear basement window, which was found broken.

Three young men – aged between 15 and 16, two from Roxborough and one from Lafayette Hill – were arrested in connection to the burglary. It was said that the three suspects were students at a nearby private school. Police did not indicate a connection between this episode and a prior burglary that occurred at a separate residence on the same block on Feb. 27.

Recent arrests 

Beyond this unusual crime, on March 5, two males were seen in East Falls on the 3100 block of Midvale Ave. removing a package from the doorstep of a residence, and replaced them with three empty FedEx boxes.

The theft mimics one that occurred a few days earlier on Mar. 1, when a UPS package containing $1,235 of clothing was removed from a doorstep on the 3400 block of Midvale Ave. 

Two suspects from North Philadelphia were arrested in connection with these thefts.

In response to a December burglary on the 4000 block of Ridge Ave. – a site which has seen multiple breaks-ins over the last several months – police arrested a 27 year-old man from North Philadelphia.

In addition to these apprehensions, Bier also observed that arrests were made in regard to burglaries and other offenses which occurred on the 500 block of King St. and the 4000 block of Apalogen Rd.

Bier observed that the investigation of a fatal shooting that occurred last week on the 3200 block of Defense Terrace is ongoing, but has not yet resulted in any arrests. 

Crime reductions 

Regardless of arrest statistics, Bier indicated that crime in PSA-1 is the lowest it has been since March of 2012.

81 major violent and property crimes were committed in February of this year – 2.8 per day – lower than Jan. 2013 and once again the lowest in a year’s time.

For the first ten days of March, 23 Part One offenses are on the books, of which four were residential burglaries and two were thefts from autos. Bier was enthusiastic about these results, and hoped to continue February’s trend of fifty-percent reductions in burglaries and vehicle-related thefts, two crimes which local police are attempting to make significant reductions in through both strategic and tactical efforts – with a little assistance from cold weather.

For police, vehicle and pedestrian investigations are one of their primary markers of activity. Bier related that local cops are currently making approximately 31 such investigations a day in PSA-1, a fifty-percent increase in activity. 

For residents, Bier expressed hope that the lowered crime stats were a result of residents keeping doors locked, removing property from vehicles, and remaining aware of one’s surroundings.

Should one become the victim of a burglary, Bier advised victims to call 911 and exhorted, “Don’t touch anything.”

While mindful of the coming summer months and the related rise in crime, Bier was optimistic about the current reduction in crime indices.

“In my mind,” he said, “the combination of the officer’s presence and the people making themselves a harder target is the reason why these reductions are happening.”

 

This story has been corrected and includes additional details about the Mar. 8 burglary.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.