Homeless Man Charged With Homicide With Fatal Stabbing At Interfaith Heights Apartments

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police charged a homeless man with fatally stabbing a homeless activist inside an apartment at Interfaith Heights earlier this year.

Matthew Vantine, 27, was charged with criminal homicide in the death of 53-year-old Bryan “Hippie” Hogan.

Hogan’s body was found inside his apartment on Jan. 30.

Vantine said he didn’t kill Hogan, saying “He was a good man.”

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/home_top/152959164/

Turkey Hill Customers Question Safety In Wake Of Robberies

When Turkey Hill comes to mind, most people think of flavorful ice cream and sweet iced tea. But in Wilkes-Barre, many mention the recent spike in robberies at the company’s stores before thinking of their signature snacks.

Since January 2014, city police have responded to at least 22 Turkey Hill robberies, 13 of which occurred in the last four months.

Frequent customers have not abandoned these stores, but some have questioned the safety during late-night hours.

Lisa Cummings of Mountain Top often visits the Turkey Hill on North Pennsylvania Avenue after work, but said she would probably not go to the store at 3 a.m.

Read more:


Kingston Police Arrest Two Men For Turkey Hill Robbery

KINGSTON, PA — Police arrested two men from Plymouth on charges they robbed the Turkey Hill store on Rutter Avenue as Wilkes-Barre police are expected to file similar charges for a robberies at Turkey Hill stores in the city.

Police allege Robert Maurer, 31, and Richard Huften, 35, conspired to rob the store on Rutter Avenue early Wednesday morning.

The two men are believed to be suspects in the heists at Turkey Hill stores on East Main Street and Hazle Avenue Tuesday night.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152447932/

Three Wyoming Valley Turkey Hill Stores Targeted Overnight

KINGSTON, PA — Three Turkey Hill stores in the Wyoming Valley were targets of robbers Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Two stores in Wilkes-Barre and a store in Kingston were held up.

Here are the reported robberies by police in Wilkes-Barre and Kingston.

• Tuesday, 9:30 p.m., Turkey Hill, 335 E. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: A white man armed with an undisclosed weapon entered the store and demanded money from a clerk. City police considered the suspect armed and dangerous. The suspect is in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, thin build, fair skin, and wore a grey hooded sweatshirt, black jacket and dark colored jogging pants.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152424848/

Phoenixville Borough Council Targets Crime On Bridge Street

PHOENIXVILLE, PA – After a recent increase in crime along Bridge Street, borough officials, residents and business owners say they’ve had enough and are searching for solutions.

During Tuesday night’s borough council meeting, Councilman Michael Kuznar added his voice to the growing number of people concerned about the borough’s safety. A recent armed robbery at the Save More Discount Center on Bridge Street and bricks thrown at two businesses were examples he used that something needs to be done.

“Since Jan. 1, Bridge Street has had over 900 calls to dispatch,” Kuznar said. “That’s a lot for just one street.”

Residents complained about “shady activity” at the Children’s Plaza at Bridge and Banks streets, too.

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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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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

Wilkes-Barre Police Deal With Wild Weekend

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

WILKES-BARRE — City police remained busy Monday after a violent weekend that involved a deadly shooting, a crash involving an officer, an arrest of a man who allegedly carjacked a cab at gunpoint and a burglary in which a suspect put a knife to the victim’s throat.

• Police released no new details Monday of a fatal shooting behind 174 S. Grant St. early Sunday morning.

An autopsy performed by forensic pathologist Dr. Gary Ross determined Vaughn Kemp, 24, of Park Avenue, suffered multiple gunshot wounds.  Kemp’s death was ruled a homicide.  Kemp was attending a party when he was gunned down at about 1:20 a.m.  No arrest has been made.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/660031/W-B-police-deal-with-wild-weekend

Man Shot In Harveys Lake Home Invasion

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

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

Editor’s note:  This is one weird story!

HARVEYS LAKE – A receiver for the Misericordia University football team is recovering from multiple gunshot wounds state police at Wyoming believe were caused by four armed men who forced their way inside a house on Second Street early Wednesday morning.

Paul Brace Jr., 19, a former standout and 2012 graduate of Dallas High School, was asleep when he was shot twice in the head and three times in the chest and arm just after 1 a.m., state police said.

Brace was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township where he underwent several surgeries.  He was listed in critical condition, state police said.

Family members and friends said Brace was responding to certain commands such as squeezing his hand and moving his feet and toes.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/573493/Man-shot-in-Harveys-Lake-home-invasion

Norristown Makes FBI’s 100 Most Dangerous Cities List

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County

Location of Norristown in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our research reveals the 100 most dangerous cities in America with 25,000 or more people, based on the number of violent crimes per 1,000 residents. Violent crimes include murder, forcible rape, armed robbery, and aggravated assault.  Data used for this research are 1) the number of violent crimes reported to the FBI to have occurred in each city, and 2) the population of each city. See our FAQ on how we rank the most dangerous cities

Norristown ranked number 68

Other Pennsylvania cities on list list include:

Philadelphia at number 50

Harrisburg at number 30

Chester at number 19

York at number 18

Nearby New Jersey cities:  Camden was number 2, Atlantic City was number 7, and Trenton was number 29

To see the entire list, click here:   http://www.neighborhoodscout.com/neighborhoods/crime-rates/top100dangerous/