Editor’s note: Any use of technology can only help police zero in on problem areas and crime trends. Targeted enforcement can then be used to clean up problem areas or reduce certain types of crime that are above an acceptable level. Two thumbs up!
POTTSTOWN — A new digital tool is helping police and the community combat the age-old problem of crime.
While mapping the locations of crimes that have occurred in Pottstown is not new, the practice moved in the digital direction after Police Chief Richard Drumheller took over the department in the spring.
Instead of using thumbtacks and a paper map, the Pottstown Police Department is using www.crimemapping.com, to track crime and analyze trends in the borough.
The department pays for the services analysis and data but the interactive website can be viewed for free by the public.
Editor’s note: This picture is the reason Pottstown has such a high crime rate. Get rid of the drug baggies and you’ll see a big drop in burglary and robbery. The guy that was arrested for the National Penn Bank robberies was reported to be high on heroin. Drug addicts have to resort to stealing to support their habits. And “feverishly” should be the modus operandi until Pottstown is cleaned up.
POTTSTOWN, PA — After six robberies in 20 days, the Pottstown Police Department is working “feverishly” to solve the crimes and work to prevent more, Police Chief Richard Drumheller said.
“I can tell you that we are working on it. I would say feverishly,” Drumheller said Monday. “Obviously we have someone out there right now that is robbing our community and that is extremely unnerving for the residents and we understand that. We are doing a rash of things to try and solve the problem.”
Drumheller did not disclose exact details related to the investigations.
“I can tell you it is a lot of directed patrols at certain areas, at certain time frames. We’ve done a lot of homework on that and we have plotted out some things and we are trying to use the data available to us to our advantage to try and capture (the suspects),” Drumheller said.
Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
WEST POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — Police are turning to the public for help to find a man who allegedly robbed the 7-Eleven on West High Street Thursday night.
Police Chief Earl Swavely said the suspect police are looking for is a black male, but no other information was available. When the man entered the store in the 1100 block of West High Street, he was wearing a ski mask over his face and a dark hooded sweatshirt, police said.
According to police, the unknown suspect was allegedly carrying a silver handgun during the incident. The suspect left the store on foot, police said.
Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
POTTSTOWN — Facing a potential liability of as much as $27 million for medical costs for current and future retired police personnel, the borough is finally beginning to set aside money to cover the costs, as a financial review and several audits have recommended.
At its Sept. 4 meeting, council was briefed on the proposal to set aside $250,000 per year for what the council agenda labeled opaquely as “OPEB,” which, according to Borough Manager Mark Flanders, stands for “other post employment benefits.”
The official vote will occur at Monday night’s council meeting, which begins at 7 and is the meeting at which the public is allowed to comment.
These potential costs are not retirement payments, but rather represent medical benefits for retirees, both current and future.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NORRISTOWN — The severity of a Pottstown merchant’s punishment for distributing synthetic marijuana from his store will hinge on an interpretation of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling regarding mandatory sentences.
Rafie L. Ali, 35, who previously lived in an apartment above the Achi Store he operated at 315 E. High Street, saw his sentencing hearing postponed in Montgomery County Court on Thursday so prosecutors and defense lawyers in the case could weigh the ramifications of the high court ruling, handed down a few days after Ali’s June conviction, which affects how prosecutors seek mandatory prison terms for certain crimes.
First Assistant District Attorney Kevin R. Steele and co-prosecutor Nicholas Reifsnyder are seeking mandatory prison terms against Ali, between 10 and 15 years, based on state laws that allow mandatory terms for drug sales carried out in school zones or with a firearm.
“He was a drug dealer masquerading as a businessman and that made him all the more dangerous,” Steele and Reifsnyder argued in a sentencing memorandum. “By keeping a firearm in close proximity to the potentially fatal drugs he was dealing, defendant contributed to the culture of violence that inevitably surrounds drug use and drug dealing.”
NORRISTOWN – A Philadelphia woman will be under the watchful eye of a judge for several years for biting a Pottstown police officer while being arrested on drug and weapons-related charges in the borough.
An apologetic Ciara M. Witcher, 25, of the 6400 block of North 13th Street, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Wednesday to three months already served to 23 months in the county jail after she pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated assault of a police officer, firearms not to be carried without a license and possession of a controlled substance in connection with a March 2012 disturbance in the borough.
Judge Gary S. Silow also ordered Witcher to complete five years’ probation after she’s paroled from jail and 24 hours of community service. The sentence, including parole and probation, means Witcher will be under court supervision for about seven years.
“I think a time-served sentence is appropriate, with a lengthy probationary period, to keep you on the straight and narrow,” said Silow, indicating he was impressed by the testimony of Witcher’s parents who testified Witcher is turning her life around for the better.
Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
POTTSTOWN — A man reportedly attempted to rob the National Penn Bank branch at the intersection of High and Franklin streets Friday afternoon.
Approximately 10 police officers responded to the bank around 3:45 p.m. after the suspect fled down South Franklin Street.
Some officers were interviewing bank employees and any witnesses inside the bank, while others walked around the block talking to residents who were standing near the scene.
According to Montgomery County Emergency Dispatch, the suspect was a white male in his 30s wearing a brown, hooded sweatshirt. The sweatshirt may have had some kind of a logo on its back, police believe.
Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
NORTH COVENTRY — A 19-year-old suspected of stealing from the Kohl’s in the Coventry Mall eluded police for just about 20 minutes before his capture in woods near the Route 100 overpass over River Road Thursday afternoon.
After 2:30 p.m., police were called to track down the young man who allegedly took some items from the store and ran on foot.
Originally, the suspect was described as having dark-colored pants and a white shirt, but as the pursuit evolved, witnesses said he took the shirt on and off.
The suspect, who police have not yet named, was eventually captured by several police officers from North Coventry, West Pottsgrove and Pottstown in the woods down the embankment from Route 100 on the 300 block of River Road.
There’s a new Facebook page dedicated to crime in Pottstown. Unfortunately, there is a need for such a thing to exist. The delusional leadership doesn’t seem to think there are any problems in town but if you read this page you will see ordinary citizens telling their stories about being victims of crime. Burglary is a big problem in Pottstown along with drugs. Probably because they go hand in hand. This is an eye-opening read which helps keep residents and those who work in town up to date. We urge you to share information and keep informed.
We have listed Crime in Pottstown under our Important Pottstown Sites on the right hand side of the page. Here is a link to click on which will take you directly there.
NORRISTOWN — A former personal banker at a Pottstown financial institution is headed to prison after admitting to engaging in a scheme to steal money from six elderly female clients.
Jon Dugan, 30, formerly of the 500 block of Douglass Drive, Douglass (Berks), and most recently of Township Line Road, Royersford, was sentenced in Montgomery County Court on Friday to five-to-23 months in the county jail, to be followed by five years’ probation, after he pleaded guilty to multiple charges of theft by deception in connection with incidents that occurred while he worked for the Wells Fargo Bank branch, 1470 E. High St., between June and August 2011.
Judge Gary S. Silow also ordered Dugan to pay $7,671 in restitution to the bank.
Dugan must report to jail on July 26 to begin serving the sentence. Dugan is eligible for a jail work-release program during his incarceration.
Editor’s note: This crap is WAY out of hand and there are two more months of hot weather left. Turn this guy in if you know who he is! Somebody could have easily been killed. As for the male in custody…beating up a young girl! Your mother must be so proud.
POTTSTOWN — Police have charged two men in related incidents, including shots fired at a vehicle.
According to police, a fight planned between two juvenile girls happened near the Ricketts Center at 672 Beech St. at 3:25 p.m. on Tuesday.
When the large group was chased from Beech Street, police said they moved to the intersection of Lincoln Avenue and North Warren Street.
The crowd of 40 to 50 people watching the fight included adults and children, police said.
Editor’s note: Earth to borough council. You better get a grip on the pervasive drug problem in town!
POTTSTOWN —Police arrested a man on parole after they found a gun and more than 900 bags of heroin in his apartment.
Dashawn Smith, 22, of Pottstown was charged with one count of felony intent to manufacture or deliver and one count of felony possession of a firearm after Pennsylvania State Parole agents searched his Elm Street apartment on June 19.
During the search of Smith’s apartment, officers found a large yellow plastic bag under the kitchen sink that contained “numerous bundles” of red wax bags, and white rice, police said.
Editor’s note: I think the headline says it all. Pottstown leadership needs to take the bull by the horns and get tough on crime. The incident happened while there was a group of community leaders gathered at the Ricketts Center trying to form a plan to clean up the core neighborhood. How ironic.
Here are some comments from Facebook on the subject:
WE WERE AT THE RICKETTS CENTER when the shooting happened, for that CARES Pottstown meeting – the Let’s Clean Up Ward 1 meeting???? Yeah…let’s do. Is the boro going to hand out bullet proof vests to all the good people cleaning up? It’s the least they could do.
All other efforts to make things better in this ward pale and seem superficial by the fact that there appears to be no real effort to clean up the root cause of the problems.
The mentality is-cite the property owner for a crack in the sidewalk. All else doesn’t matter.
I’m beyond irritated by this. We heard what we thought was illegal fireworks (again) last night. Didn’t look out the window until we went out last night. Opened the door to find the intersection of Beech and Washington roped off and multiple police cars and officers out and about. They were talking to people on my block. We didn’t see anything but were told that it stemmed from an earlier incident that began at the Ricketts Center in the afternoon.
Location of Pottstown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
POTTSTOWN — As twilight fell, two pairs who’d battled through two full days of Men’s Open play at the Pottstown Rumble battled in an evenly-matched final for $5,000 before a crowd of hundreds.
When it was over, Hudson Bates and Mark Berik, the 2011 Rumble Men’s Open Champions, added the 2013 crown to their resumes.
“Honestly, the Rumble is the best grass tournament in the country, I think,” said Bates, from Richmond, Va. “They stepped it up big-time this year. Great organizers, great sponsors, it’s just a fun, fun tournament. It’s awesome.”
By winning two games 11-6 and 11-9 in the best of three final, Bates and Berik, from Queens, N.Y., beat a pair from Ellicott City, Md., whom the courtside announcer dubbed the “Maryland Marauders,” Aaron Russell and Eric Lucas.
This is a picture of drug baggies that were collected in the 400 block of King Street this morning, Sunday, June 23, 2013, by a homeowner and taxpayer. This is an everyday occurrence for people who live in the core neighborhood in Pottstown. Does this not look like a problem!?! One day, one block, seven baggies.
Drugs lead to crime and violence; burglaries, shootings and stabbings, oh my! How does allowing this problem to continue help Pottstown? Why does the leadership sit idly by and watch Pottstown deteriorate? The crime rate is astronomical.
Why isn’t Pottstown aligning itself with the Berks County drug summit initiative? If you listen to certain people, they will tell you Pottstown’s drug problems are because of Reading and Philadelphia. I am sure that is a big part of the problem. I bet if somebody in authority reached out to Berks County and explained what’s going on in Pottstown they might allow you to be part of the group, being so close to the Berks County line.
If you listen to others, like Mayor Bonnie Heath, they are in complete denial that Pottstown has problems. If you try and point out the problems you are labeled a malcontent activist. Being a cheerleader for the borough is one thing, being in complete denial is quite another. Bonnie oversees the police department and wants a second term as Mayor of Pottstown. The queen of obfuscation wants your vote in November.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Just imagine how many more baggies could have been picked up this morning on the streets of Pottstown. Houston, we have a problem.