Gun Violence Escalating In Pottstown, Again…

Warm weather does tend to bring out the criminal element in Pottstown.  Since May 18th there have been a number of incidents of gun violence reported by the Pottstown Mercury and WFMZ-TV.

Here is a recap of what’s been going on:

Armed robbery at the Gulf Station on High Street on May 18th: http://m.wfmz.com/pottstown-armed-robber-on-the-loose/26046054

Student arrested at Pottstown High School, allegedly robs another student at gunpoint on May 28th: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140528/updated-student-arrested-at-pottstown-high-school

Shooting near Brian’s Cafe (scene of a murder last year) on May 31st:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-late-night-pottstown-shooting-sends-man-to-hospital

Armed robbery at Wells Fargo Bank on High Street (East End) on May 31st: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140531/updated-high-street-bank-robbed-fbi-seeks-armed-suspect

Police investigating gunshots near Wilson and Spruce Streets on June 2nd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140602/pottstown-police-investigating-gunshots-near-wilson-and-spruce-streets

Police are investigating a shooting in Pottstown on Chestnut Street on June 3rd: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140603/updated-man-injured-after-shooting-in-pottstown-video

UPDATE: Police are investigating a homicide on Jefferson Avenue in Pottstown on June 5th: https://www.facebook.com/CrimeInPottstown and also the Pottstown Mercuryhttp://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140606/man-found-dead-in-car-in-pottstown

I think the examples above should be some kind of RED FLAG that there is a problem with violent crime in the borough.  And frankly, these are just the big incidents that I could find quickly to illustrate this problem.  A town of 22,480 (2012) should not have this much crime.

People are afraid.  People should expect more for their extremely HIGH TAXES.  If the Pottstown Police Department is overwhelmed then by all means call Harrisburg and ask for some help.  HINT:  Kathleen Kane’s Office for starters.  There is nothing wrong with asking for assistance.  Be proactive instead of reactive.  Maybe “keeping a lid on the powder keg” needs to be replaced with a better strategy?????

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Five Years After Opening, Crime From Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem Isn’t The Factor Some Feared

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bethlehem police Chief Mark DiLuzio remembers the critics.

Debates raged about whether Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem would be a benefit or detriment to the city and its surrounding communities. DiLuzio, then a police lieutenant, gave in to his detective spirit and researched the subject.

Much of what he found indicated casinos were not a hotbed of criminal activity.

Five years later, DiLuzio is now chief of police — and he’s happy to report that he was right.

Read more:  http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2014/05/crime_not_a_major_factor_five.html

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Clerk, Two Friends, Rob Ephrata Convenience Store

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An Ephrata convenience store clerk and her two friends robbed the store of over $12,000 worth of goods and disappeared on Thursday.

Police are looking for Brittany Lee Taylor, 23, Anthony Joseph D’uva, 25 and Damion Lee Good, 24, all of Ephrata.

According to Ephrata Borough Police, at around 2:30 a.m. Thursday, a patron discovered the Pricetown Ephrata Gas and Food Mart, 529 W. Main St., open but vacant.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/ephrata/news/clerk-two-friends-rob-ephrata-convenience-store/article_b6835b88-c11d-11e3-b9dd-001a4bcf6878.html

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These Are America’s 10 Most Dangerous Small Cities

If you’re hoping to escape from big city crime, look elsewhere. These places actually defy the stereotype of smaller cities being safer.

When you see small towns on TV and in movies, they’re almost always idyllic places where the American dream is thriving and neighbors all know each other. That, and unless you’re watching a whodunnit, no one’s ever the victim of a crime.

In reality, small cities are surprisingly similar to all the others, meaning that there are good ones and bad. While the Movoto Real Estate Blog has been writing lately about America’s safest places, we thought we’d switch gears today and look the small cities where crime is a real concern.

After studying more than 200 small cities, we’ve concluded that Wilmington, DE is the most dangerous in terms of crime. It’s joined in this dubious honor by nine other places to comprise our 10 most dangerous small cities in America:

1. Wilmington, DE
2. Canton, OH
3. Jackson, TN
4. Rocky Mount, NC
5. North Little Rock, AR
6. Pensacola, FL
7. Daytona Beach, FL
8. Homestead, FL
8. Lauderhill, FL
10. Warner Robins, GA

Read more: http://www.movoto.com/blog/top-ten/dangerous-small-cities/

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Company Promises To Reimburse Pottstown Clerk Who Got Robbed

POTTSTOWN, PA — The employee of the Citgo Gas Station who had money deducted from his paycheck after the establishment was robbed twice in one week could get his money back.

Jana Barnett, the lawyer representing Penn Oil Co., and Kathy Heck, the operations manager of the company, said Thursday that a special check was issued Wednesday for the employee. Heck said it was mailed Wednesday to the employee’s attorney, Adam Sager of Pottstown.

“No other money will be taken” from his paycheck, Heck said.

The employee was allegedly beaten during a robbery on Jan. 17. This was the second time the gas station had been robbed in a five-day period.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20140130/company-promises-to-reimburse-pottstown-clerk-who-got-robbed

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2 Arrested For Pair Of Thefts From Pottstown Citgo

POTTSTOWN, PA — Police arrested two men who each allegedly stole from a borough Citgo gas station in two different incidents earlier this month.

Scott T. Sinclair, 48, and Marzel D. Brickhouse, 46, were arrested over the weekend on charges related to stealing cash and lottery tickets, respectively, from the Citgo convenience store on the first block of West High Street.

Pottstown Police Capt. Robert Thomas said the first incident at the Citgo occurred Jan. 14 and involved “no confrontation.”

A cash box was placed somewhere inside the convenience store toward closing time and went missing, Thomas said. Pottstown Police responded around 9:23 p.m.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140127/2-arrested-for-pair-of-thefts-from-pottstown-citgo

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In Camden, 89 New Officers And 17 Languages

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poor...

English: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Camden suffers from unemployment, urban decay, poverty, and many other social issues. Much of the city of Camden, New Jersey suffers from urban decay. 日本語: ニュージャージー州カムデンのスラム. Svenska: Camden, New Jersey is one of the poorest cities in the United States. Kiswahili: Camden, New Jersey ni moja ya mataifa maskini zaidi katika miji ya Marekani. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Virginia Matias was a senior in high school when her uncle Miguel Espinal was shot and killed during an armed robbery at his corner store.

The robber shot Espinal in the abdomen and made off with $900 from his La Dominicana store in East Camden.

The slaying prompted Matias, now 27, to study law and justice at Rowan University with an eye toward becoming a police officer in Camden, to try to prevent similar acts of senseless violence.

This month, Matias graduated from the Camden County police academy, along with 108 others in the largest graduating class to date. Eighty-nine of the officers, including Matias, are now working for the Camden County Police Metro Division. Another class, graduating in April, will bring the force up to 411 officers, county officials said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/new_jersey/20131228_In_Camden__89_new_officers_and_17_languages.html#DaidPhGXFz2LtawH.99

Woman Found Dead Inside Nanticoke Home

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NANTICOKE, PA — The body of a 97-year-old woman was found Friday inside her East Grand Street home where she lived for decades. Authorities are treating her death as a homicide.

Police Chief William Shultz called the investigation “a major case” with the state police at Wyoming, Luzerne County Detectives and Coroner’s Office involved.

Authorities identified the woman as Gertrude Price, who lived alone.

Trooper Martin Connors said Price was last seen at about 10:20 p.m. Thursday and neighbors reported seeing lights on inside her house at about 11 p.m., which neighbors said was “unusual” for that time of night.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/1020433/Woman-found-dead-inside-Nanticoke-home

Police Looking For Truck Driver After Chase In Berks County

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A trucker wanted for robbery in Florida drove more than 3 miles on Interstate 176 this morning with a state trooper clinging to the cab of his truck before crashing and fleeing into the woods, setting off an extensive manhunt. The trooper was not injured.

Police have identified the man as Harold. A. Davis Jr., 56, of Philadelphia. He remains at large, with dozens of police officers from all around Berks County joining in the search.

The incident began about 10 a.m. when Davis drove through a truck inspection detail being done by Caernarvon Police on Interstate 176 just north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, said Trooper David C. Beohm, state police spokesman. A trooper approached Davis’ car hauler, but as he mounted the truck to speak with the driver Davis began to pull away, starting a slow-speed chase with the trooper still hanging from the side of the cab.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=519081

Concern Rises Over Break-Ins In Philly’s Suburbs

Debbie Campolo’s husband came home one day in February to find the front door of their house in Radnor smashed open. The target was clear – her jewelry box sat empty on the bedroom dresser.

“They took everything I had, even the stuff my kids made me,” said Campolo, a physical therapist who lives near Overbrook Golf Club.

Then she talked to three or four neighbors and workout pals who said the same thing had happened to them. And she found out that a few weeks before her break-in, a house three doors down had been hit the same way.

“They come in, pull a pillowcase off of a pillow, and then they dump the contents of a jewelry box right in it,” Campolo said.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131007_Concern_rises_over_suburban_break-ins.html#hrufsVizGfw2Jb0b.99

Pottstown Police Changing Tactics To Solve Recent Robberies

1044756_392391437532570_1638549602_nEditor’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.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130924/pottstown-police-changing-tactics-to-solve-recent-robberies

Pottstown Man Charged With Robbing High Street Bank Twice In One Month

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — The man accused of robbing the National Penn Bank on East High Street in Pottstown made his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon.

Christopher Lee Blount, 37, of Pottstown, was charged with two counts of felony robbery, two counts of felony conspiracy to commit robbery and multiple misdemeanors, according to court paperwork.

Blount, who was arrested Tuesday night, appeared in court wearing a light blue paper jumpsuit and black flip-flops.

A former employee at Jake’s Wayback Burger, Blount had the same mode of operation for both bank robberies, police said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130919/pottstown-man-charged-with-robbing-high-street-bank-twice-in-one-month

Police Search For Masked Suspect After Robbery At West Pottsgrove 7-Eleven

Location of West Pottsgrove Township in Montgo...

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.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20130913/police-search-for-masked-suspect-after-robbery-at-7-eleven

Coventry Mall Kohl’s Security Officer Arrested For Assaulting Photographer

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORTH COVENTRY TOWNSHIP, PA — Police have charged a woman working as a loss prevention officer for Kohl’s at the Coventry Mall with assault of a local photographer.

Sarah Roller, 36, from Collegeville, reported she saw a man in his vehicle taking video of “police and her activity” while she was helping search for a suspect in a retail theft from Boscov’s, police said.

Roller is accused of approaching the photographer, Tom Kelly III, and attempted to take his camera “by force.”  Kelly is a former Mercury staff photographer and frequently does work as a free-lancer for The Mercury and its related websites.

“During the struggle over the camera, the victim was struck in the face,” the report said.  “He sustained an injury to his eye and is also being treated for neck and shoulder pain.”

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130909/NEWS01/130909490/coventry-mall-kohl-s-security-officer-arrested-for-assaulting-photographer#full_story

Botched Harrisburg Home Invasion Leaves Alleged Robber With Facial Injuries, Victim With Gunshot Wound To Leg

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Dauphin County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A botched armed robbery Friday in Harrisburg left an alleged robber with facial injuries and another man with a gunshot wound to his leg, city police said.

Adrian Ortiz-Diaz, 39, who lives in Allison Hill, broke into an apartment in the Hall Manor Public Housing Complex and tried to rob a victim with a gun, police said.

The 21-year-old victim fought back and was shot in the leg during the struggle, police said in a news release.  The victim’s girlfriend was also home at the time of the attempted robbery, but was not injured.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/07/botched_robbery_leaves_one_man.html#incart_m-rpt-2

Two Banks Robbed In One Day In Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NORRISTOWN — Police are investigating two bank robberies that occurred within an hour of each other Friday in Montgomery County.

The first took place about 4:30 p.m. at Harleysville Savings Bank, 1889 E. Ridge Pike, Upper Providence, and the second at 5:12 p.m. at Univest Bank, 4258 Township Line Road, Skippack.

According to witnesses, a man entered the rear door of the Harleysville Bank and ordered a customer to the floor, Upper Providence police reported.  The man then approached two tellers, demanded money and fled the bank with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.  One of the tellers gave the man a dye pack, which was seen to explode as he left the bank, police said.

The Harleysville robber was described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, wearing a black hat with a black mask that covered his entire face, a tan zipper jacket, dark pants and brown shoes, police said.  He was also wearing blue or possibly green latex gloves, police said.

Read more:  http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130525/NEWS01/130529407/two-banks-robbed-in-one-day-in-montgomery-county#full_story

Customer Detains Robbery Suspect

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA – A customer stopped a masked man from leaving a convenient store after a robbery at Quick Food Mart on North Main Street on Sunday, according to charges filed.

Christopher Thomas, 25, of West Maple Street, Wilkes-Barre, was arraigned Monday by District Judge Joseph Halesey in Hanover Township on two counts of robbery, and one count each of tampering with evidence, theft and criminal mischief.  He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $25,000 bail.

According to the criminal complaint:

Ghanshyam Majmundar called police just after 11 a.m. saying a robbery suspect is being detained by a customer inside the food mart.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/509989/Customer-detains-robbery-suspect

West Pottsgrove Home Invasion Leads To Murder

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE  TOWNSHIP— A man was abducted from his home at gunpoint and later died in Lower Pottsgrove on the side of  on Sunday afternoon, authorities said.

According to a release from the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, Kareem Ali Borowy, 19, was taken from his home on the 1200 block of Manatawny Street by “multiple suspects with handguns” in broad daylight around 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

The gunmen allegedly demanded money before taking Borowy.

“Investigators have determined that Borowy was targeted for this robbery and it now appears this was not a random act,” the release said.

Read more:   http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130506/NEWS01/130509617/west-pottsgrove-home-invasion-leads-to-murder#full_story

Crime Is Focus Of Community Forum

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

With quality of life one of the top factors businesses consider in deciding to move into a community, the Greater Berks Chamber of Commerce & Industry focused on one local quality-of-life issue at its “State of the Community” breakfast Friday: crime.

Panel members, chief among them Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams, said crime is not as bad as it might seem.

“There’s a misperception of the rate of crime in the city,” Adams told more than 100 Chamber members gathered at the Crowne Plaza Reading, Wyomissing.

He noted that, comparing the local rates of murders, robberies and assaults with comparable cities and counties in the region, Reading and Berks are in the middle of the pack, not worst of the pack.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=463136

Chesco D.A.: Norco Murder Scene Was ‘Doorway Into Hell’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Chester County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WEST CHESTER — Two weeks after the grisly discovery of a body inside a burning North Coventry apartment, authorities announced an arrest in the murder of 17-year-old Kevin Allen.

Shakeem Carter, 20, of Norristown, was arraigned Wednesday morning after an investigation concluded he was responsible for the brutal stabbing death of the Norristown High School student inside his father’s home at the Hanover Garden Apartments, officials said.

Allen’s body was discovered on Feb. 12 after a neighbor dialed 911 to report a “terrible struggle,” according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, who announced Carter’s arrest at a Wednesday morning new conference.

Officers from the North Coventry Police Department were the first to enter the apartment, but they had to retreat when they discovered the apartment was on fire.  Firefighters were able to extinguish the flames, but when they returned, they told police there was a body inside.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130228/NEWS01/130229413/chesco-d-a–norco-murder-scene-was-doorway-into-hell-(video)?nstrack=sid:387506|met:300|cat:0|order:2#full_story\