Homicides On Track For 45-Year Low In Philadelphia

Homicides in Philadelphia in 2013 are on pace for the lowest midyear total in nearly half a century, police figures show, putting the city in reach of a modern-day low at year’s end.

As of Friday, with three days left in the six-month period, police had recorded 115 homicides, a 38 percent drop from the same period last year.

The half-year figures are a promising sign for a city that in recent years has held the dubious distinction of being the nation’s most violent big city.

Mayor Nutter, top police officials, and prosecutors, along with criminal-justice experts, say the decrease in homicides reflects a new emphasis on data-driven policing, a crackdown on gun criminals, and sweeping reforms in the criminal courts.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130630_Homicides_on_track_for_45-year_low_in_Philadelphia.html#WveCycR2JxYQ9MoR.99

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City Of Reading Shootings Fall, Other Violent Crimes Up In 2012

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsyl...

A 1947 topographic map of the Reading, Pennsylvania area. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Violent crime – especially murders – edged up in Reading last year, Police Chief William M. Heim told City Council on Wednesday.

In 2012, he said, murders rose 25 percent from 2011.

Still, Heim said, the city has nowhere near the crime levels it did in 2004 when it reported 1,116 incidents of violent crime.  The 2012 statistics showed 828 incidents.

And the number of people shot also dropped, to 57 last year from 65 in 2011. The high was 109 people shot in 2002.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=445626

Park City Gunman Eludes Police After Robbing Arby’s

A gunman who robbed a Park City Center eatery eluded police Sunday evening despite a 3-hour manhunt by dozens of police officers and K-9 units.

“We’re as confident as we can be at this point … that he is no longer inside,” city police Sgt. Mark Radmore said outside the Kohl’s mall entrance at around 9:30 p.m.

Heavily armed police officers swept the mall’s many stores and storage areas several times after the robbery attempt at about 6:05 p.m. at Arby’s restaurant.

The mall was quickly evacuated after the incident, which happened around closing time for most stores.

According to a pair of eyewitnesses, a gunman — they said wearing a hoodie, although others reported seeing a mask — displayed a handgun to cashiers at Arby’s and demanded cash.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/771209_Park-City-gunman-eludes-police-after-robbing-Arby-s.html#ixzz2BMTJazGu

Police Arrest Crime Spree Suspect While Sovereign Bank Robber Still At Large

Chalk up another win for the good guys.  Marcus White of Philadelphia was on a crime spree in Montgomery and Chester counties prior to his arrest on June 2nd.  The suspect has been linked to robberies in Lower Pottsgrove Twp., Limerick Twp. and Coatesville.  Mr. White shot a senior citizen in the leg during the Turkey Hill robbery in Lower Pottsgrove Twp. because the elderly employee could not open the safe.

There are two other male suspects involved that still remain at large.  The investigation into their participation in these crimes is ongoing.

Because one of the robberies includes a US Post Office, Marcus White is facing federal charges in addition to the convenience store armed robbery charges and a shooting! The suspect was stealing money orders, cash and lighters.

In related news, the Sovereign Bank in downtown Pottstown was the scene of an armed robbery Tuesday afternoon.   The suspect wore a mask and carried a gun.  He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash.  Customers were inside the bank during the robbery but no one was hurt.

The FBI description of the suspect is a black male, six-foot two and wearing an Air Jordan hoodie with a BMX-like face mask.  If you have any information, call the FBI at 215-418-4000 or the Pottstown Police Department at 610-970-6570.  A reward is being offered and you can remain anonymous.  The suspect is armed and dangerous but I think that goes without saying since he just robbed a bank at gun-point.

Let’s make this robbery another example of why crime doesn’t pay!