2nd dist. cops losing patience with parking in school zones

Phil­adelphia’s po­lice of­ficers can be very un­sym­path­et­ic when people do things that are stu­pid as well as il­leg­al — es­pe­cially if someone gives them some lip, too.

Mark Mroz, the 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict’s com­munity re­la­tions of­ficer, last week said he told a wo­man not to park il­leg­ally while she was drop­ping a child off at a loc­al school.

The wo­man did as she pleased any­way, Mroz told mem­bers of the 2nd Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil, and gave him some guff, too, so he gave her a tick­et. He also looked up her li­cense plate num­ber and found out she was a scofflaw. He had the wo­man’s car im­poun­ded.

An­oth­er of life’s les­sons learned the hard way: Don’t mess with people who have guns, badges, tick­et books and speedy ac­cess to traffic court re­cords.

Mroz’s an­ec­dote is just one in­dic­a­tion of a lar­ger is­sue, Capt. Mi­chael Mc­Car­rick told PDAC mem­bers dur­ing their Dec. 13 meet­ing at the Phil­adelphia Prot­est­ant Home.

Many par­ents drop­ping their little darlings off at any of the dis­trict’s 15 schools are double-, triple- and quad­ruple-park­ing in­stead of pulling over and park­ing leg­ally.

If it were just one or two people do­ing that, it wouldn’t be much of a prob­lem, the 2nd dis­trict’s com­mand­er said, but a lot of people do it, and be­sides be­ing un­safe for the chil­dren and oth­er drivers, the prac­tice cre­ates morn­ing traffic jams around schools.

There are signs pos­ted, but they’re be­ing ig­nored, the cap­tain said. Drivers get away with it of­ten enough be­cause there are so many schools in the dis­trict and of­ficers can’t cov­er them all every morn­ing. But they get to them, he said.

He had a warn­ing for er­rant mo­tor­ists:

“If they’re too stu­pid to read the signs, let them read the back of the tick­et,” Mc­Car­rick said.

Some­times, the prob­lem is not il­leg­al park­ing, the cap­tain said the next day. Some par­ents park leg­ally across from their chil­dren’s school and then send them dart­ing in­to traffic and between the cars that are double-parked.

Il­leg­al park­ing and block­ing traffic out­side schools is not pe­cu­li­ar to the 2nd dis­trict, the cap­tain said. It’s a prob­lem all over the city.

Oth­er city­wide is­sues are res­id­en­tial burg­lar­ies and car burg­lar­ies, Mc­Car­rick said.

There has been a huge in­crease — more than 30 per­cent — in res­id­en­tial burg­lar­ies in the 2nd dis­trict this year, the cap­tain said. However, ar­rests are up about 19 per­cent, too, he said. Adults and ju­ven­iles are be­ing locked up. 

“Kids are out there try­ing to get money and iPhones to give as gifts,” he said.

Re­cently, of­ficers have ar­res­ted some ju­ven­iles they say are re­spons­ible for sev­er­al area burg­lar­ies. 

“We are see­ing a lot of day­time burg­lar­ies as­so­ci­ated with school tru­ancy,” the cap­tain said in a phone in­ter­view Dec. 14.

Usu­ally, when po­lice see items like elec­tron­ic game sys­tems or games stolen, they the­or­ize the burg­lars are youths.

“But we are see­ing more adults selling games for cash,” Mc­Car­rick said, “and we’re look­ing at some of the guys who are do­ing that for burg­lar­ies.”

Car theft was big news last week when two broth­ers were ar­res­ted for al­legedly steal­ing and then dump­ing scores of old Hon­das.

Al­ex­an­der and Eduardo Ramos were ar­res­ted last week and charged with more than 70 counts of car theft. Mc­Car­rick said the two al­legedly were steal­ing the cars and cut­ting out their cata­lyt­ic con­vert­ers. The cars would be dumped at vari­ous loc­a­tions, in­clud­ing the lower North­east.

The con­vert­ers con­tain small amounts of plat­in­um, but enough plat­in­um that they’re worth about $300 each, the cap­tain said.

Last week, plat­in­um was val­ued at more than $1,400 an ounce.

* * *

Po­lice ad­vis­ory coun­cil mem­bers usu­ally con­duct their monthly meet­ings at the Phil­adelphia Prot­est­ant Home, 6500 Tabor Ave., but their Tues­day, Jan. 10 ses­sion will be­gin at 7 p.m. in the new Po­lice Ath­let­ic League cen­ter on the prop­erty of Glad­ing Me­mori­al Church, 1267 E. Chel­ten­ham Ave. It will be for one meet­ing only, Mroz said. In Feb­ru­ary, the or­gan­iz­a­tion’s meet­ings will re­turn to the Prot­est­ant Home.  ull;•

Re­port­er John Loftus can be reached at 215-354-3110 or jloftus@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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