Reading Police Investigating Scene Of Found Body

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

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

A motorist made a grisly discovery this morning when he spotted the body of an apparent shooting victim along a Route 12 exit ramp in Reading near the Muhlenberg Township line, city detectives said.

The unidentified victim – described by investigators as a Latino man in his 30s – appears to have been dumped along the westbound exit ramp to River Road after he was shot somewhere else, investigators said.

Sgt. John M. Solecki of the criminal investigation division said there appeared to be gunshot wounds on the body. An autopsy has been scheduled for Thursday.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=503642

Heroin Epidemic Spreads To Rural Areas, Official Says

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for "...

English: Modified IM/IV syringe used for “plugging” heroin. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

State Attorney General Kathleen Kane‘s top narcotics investigator identified cheap, potent Mexican heroin as the state’s No. 1 drug problem at a forum with Berks County municipal officials Monday at Penn State Berks.

Jonathan A. Duecker, special agent for narcotics control, said the heroin epidemic has spread from cities into rural areas and is challenging law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

“There’s no place in Pennsylvania that’s not seeing at a micro level what we’ve been seeing at a macro level in the big cities,” he said.

Duecker’s portrayal of the violence and crime that accompanies the availability of cheap heroin came at a forum sponsored by state Sen. Judy Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Democrat.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=502230

Reading Police Department Commends Its Officers

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

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

Attendance was a bit sparse Thursday night at the Reading Police Department’s first-ever commendation ceremony.

But for first responders, the job always comes first.

Chief of Police William M. Heim said about 50 officers, roughly one-third of the department, and their families were able to attend the special recognition evening at the Albright College Theatre at 13th and Bern streets.

Heim said this is the first time the department has held a formal recognition ceremony.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=495564

Reading Police Department’s Park-And-Walk An Arresting Program

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

Editor’s note:  Pottstown should be using these same policing tactics!

Sharon Hetrick has lived in the 1300 block of Church Street since 1982.

Her neighborhood has undergone many changes in 31 years and right now she said things are pretty good.

Even so, she said she was glad to see Reading Mayor Vaughn D. Spencer come knocking on her door one afternoon recently.  (Hint to Bonnie Heath)

“Right now things are pretty stable.  Except for a couple of vacant houses, everyone takes care of their property,” Hetrick told the mayor and city Patrolmen Andrew Seiler and George Morar.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=494405

Shooting Witness Catches Suspect In Reading Homicide

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

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

A man was shot and killed and his son wounded early Sunday in the 800 block of Elm Street, Reading police said.

When police arrived they learned an acquaintance of the victims was holding the man suspected to be the gunman nearby.

The acquaintance, 28, had witnessed the shooting and chased the suspect, yelling for him to stop, police said.

Police were first dispatched about 2:20 a.m. to Elm Street, where they found the 49-year-old victim dead on the sidewalk.  They also found that his 29-year-old son had been shot in the upper torso and driven to a local hospital in a private vehicle.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=491404

Man Found Shot To Death In Reading Alley

A man believed to be in his early twenties was found shot to death early this morning in a rear alley in northeast Reading by a city police officer who was investigating a report of a possible burglary, detectives said.

The officer went to the 1100 block of Birch Street just after 4 and found a broken window in the rear door facing the concrete alley that runs parallel to both Birch and North 12th streets, investigators said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=491034

Reading’s New Spokes-Men: Police Expand Bicycle Patrols

Editor’s note:  We like this!!  Get those guys out there and visible.  It really is a crime deterrent!!

Six police officers in bright yellow shirts quietly pedaled through a courtyard toward Penn Street, emerging onto the sidewalk and startling pedestrians.

Several passers-by smiled at the men’s sudden appearance and one guy yelled out, “Hey, you look good!”

The officers were part of the Reading Police Department’s newly expanded bicycle patrols.

Eight officers were certified for the duty in May at the Reading Police Academy, bringing the total of certified bicycle officers to 30.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=490247

Reading Police Find Bullet-Riddled Body Of Man Near Storage Business

Reading police found the bullet-riddled body of a man next to a self-storage unit in the city early Wednesday morning.

Police said they received a call from a passer-by about 2:20 a.m. reporting a man down near a locker at a storage business in the 400 block of Blair Avenue.

When investigators arrived at the site just off Schuylkill Avenue they found the body of a 36-year-old Latino man on the ground toward the back of the storage facility.

Sgt. John M. Solecki of the criminal investigations division said the victim did odd jobs at the storage facility for patrons – like watch their cars and valuables – for tips.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=482935

Stealing Burglars’ Thunder: New Reading Police Unit Solving Crimes Fast

Editor’s note:  Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up!!!

The dedicated burglary unit is in line with Chief William M. Heim’s crime reduction strategy, which relies on focused policing to do more with less manpower.

Serial burglars in Reading are feeling the heat due to the formation of a city police squad that specializes in investigating burglaries.

The squad was started in early March with the temporary transfer of two patrolmen to the criminal investigations division, said Sgt. John M. Solecki, who supervises the unit.

Solecki credited the burglary squad – consisting of officers James Kennedy and Christopher Bucklin – with two recent arrests of suspected serial burglars.

About two-dozen burglaries have been cleared as a result of those and other arrests, he said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=482406

Reading Police Focus At 4th And Penn Streets Gets Results, City Says

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

A stepped-up Reading police focus on the area of Fourth and Penn streets in the first three months of the year yielded a trove of arrests, traffic tickets and apprehensions of people wanted on bench warrants, the city has announced.

Nineteen special details of officers on foot and in cruisers patrolled the area and made 31 arrests for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, drug violations and drunken driving, among other things.  In addition, 37 people who had failed to pay past traffic or parking tickets were taken into custody, as were six people wanted on bench warrants for failing to appear for court proceedings.

Police Chief William M. Heim said, “The reports we are getting from some of the business owners is that it is working, and they feel more comfortable and they think conditions are getting better.”

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=473001

Noise Complaint Leads To Arrest Of Reading Man On Drug Charges

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

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

Editor’s note:  Great job Reading P.D.  Book ’em, Danno!

A complaint about loud music in the 600 block of North 11th Street led to the arrest of a 20-year-old man on drug-trafficking charges, police said Tuesday.

Jose Melendez-Negron was charged with possessing and intending to deliver cocaine, possessing and intending to use drug paraphernalia, possessing a small amount of marijuana and related charges.

Melendez-Negron was committed to Berks County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail following arraignment before Senior District Judge Gloria W. Stitzel in Reading Central Court.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=470343

Reading Teen Lied About Fight Details, Police Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

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

A 17-year-old Reading boy who told police he was attacked by a crowd of youths and nearly hit with a hammer during an after-school melee last week lied about the incident, according to city detectives.

The youth was at least truthful about one part of his story: He was surrounded in City Park by a large group of youths, some of whom carried wooden boards. A video that someone posted to YouTube, however, clearly showed that the crowd was actually cheering on him and another youth as they squared off and then fought, said Sgt. John M. Solecki of the criminal investigations division.

The boy had told officers who arrived and found him bloodied on the ground with an injured left shoulder that he entered the crowd to find his cousin, only to be pulled down, punched and kicked.

“As city police investigated, video footage was found that showed he and another youth were the initial combatants in a mutually agreed-upon fistfight, and during the fistfight he injured his shoulder,” Solecki said.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=465325

Reading Police Still Probing After-School Melees

A wooden table leg, a baseball bat, a hammer and a two-by-four.

Those were just a few of the weapons wielded during after-school brawls among 75 to 100 teenagers, city police Sgt. John M. Solecki said Thursday.

City detectives were still sorting through video from surveillance cameras and from bystanders, who posted footage of the fighting Wednesday on Facebook.

And the fact that city schools started spring break Thursday wasn’t helping, police.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=464280

Next Generation Of Reading Police Cameras Keeping Watch

Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport. ...

Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport. Taken by Adrian Pingstone in August 2004 and released to the public domain. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Pottstown needs to get cameras! There are grants out there!

Criminals, beware, for Big Brother is getting more eyes to see you.

And remember you.

Reading’s next round of 20 security cameras is being installed in new neighborhoods, augmenting the 27 cameras in the downtown network since 2008.

“We’ve been pretty successful with them,” Police Chief William M. Heim said, noting there have been dozens of cases in which the existing cameras have been helpful in solving crimes and arresting suspects.

In March, City Council awarded a $650,000 camera contract to New York-based Let’s Think Wireless, with money from the same 2007 federal grant of $1.7 million that bought the first round from the same company.

Read more:   http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=451985

‘We Have To Do Better’

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

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

City statistics showing that the once-declining number of violent crimes in Reading began to edge up in 2012 drew a variety of reactions Thursday from city, county and community leaders.

Most agreed the trend means it is even more pressing to work on the follow-up ideas coming from last week’s crime summit.

Released Wednesday, the statistics also show crime is less than it was a decade ago.

But that brought a warning: Don’t accept the situation as the city’s new normal.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=445862

Arbitrators Slash Newer Reading Police Officers’ Pay, Benefits

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

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

City police, especially those hired this year and in the future, will take major pay and benefit cuts now and when they retire, according to a five-year contract handed down Friday by a panel of arbitrators.

The panel froze officers’ salaries and step increases for three years and cut starting salaries, vacation time and sick leave in the new contract, which is retroactive to January 2012.

In setting the terms, the panel followed the city’s Act 47 financial recovery plan to cut millions of dollars a year from police costs.

For employees hired before the old contract expired at the end of 2011, the panel kept that contract’s pension benefits – up to 70 percent of working salaries, the ability to buy years of service to raise that pension, and city-paid retiree health insurance.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=428754

6-Year-Old Missing For Hours After Bus Mix-Up

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

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States Public School Districts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  As the grandparent of a six-year-old granddaughter, this would send me about over the edge!  Many thanks to Reading Police Office Chevron Salata for finding Adriann.

For more than four terrifying hours, Brenda McMullen and her family were left to imagine the worst.

McMullen’s 6-year-old grandson, Adriann Flemming Jr., was missing on Wednesday.  And those who love the little boy had no idea where to find him.

The ordeal was the result of yet another Reading School District busing mistake, a problem that has plagued the district during the opening week of school.

In this instance, Adriann was put on the wrong bus after school at 16th & Haak Elementary School and taken to the wrong day care center.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=412488

Reading Crime Summit Ideas

Attacking crime in Reading will take more than law enforcement and government officials sitting down for a meeting, community leaders said Tuesday in response to a call by U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. for a crime summit in August.

State Rep. Thomas R. Caltagirone, a Reading Democrat, said more police officers would help, but money is not likely to be readily available from the state or federal governments because of their budget situations.

So the key to success will be getting parents to take responsibility for their children and schools to provide more athletic and educational activities for youths, he said.

Representatives from faith-based organizations, fraternal and social groups and businesses must be at the table, Caltagirone said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=405208

Reading, PA To Nearly Double Number Of Street Cameras

Two Roy’s Rants thumbs up!  Reading is being proactive on crime and blight!  Make sure you read the rest of the article, especially Pottstown Borough Council and leadership!

Security camera at London (Heathrow) Airport. ...

Image via Wikipedia

City Council on Monday agreed to expand Reading’s security camera system, awarding a $650,000 contract to New York-based Let’s Think Wireless to add 20 or more cameras to the 27 the city already has.

Cameras in the first phase are mostly downtown, but the new cameras will be installed in other areas of the city, Police Chief William M. Heim said.

The new cameras also will connect wirelessly to City Hall monitoring stations, rather than via the fiber-optic links used by the current cameras.

“What we have so far has worked very well,” Heim said.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=370765