Northeast Times

8th district honors heroes in blue

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The 8th Po­lice Dis­trict has named its Of­ficers of the Month for Novem­ber and Decem­ber as well as its 2011 Of­ficers of the Year.

Mem­bers of the com­munity are in­vited to help hon­or the Of­ficers of the Year dur­ing a ban­quet at Cannstat­ters, 9130 Academy Road, on Sunday, March 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. The cost is $25 per per­son.

The honorees will in­clude Of­ficers James Snyder, Di­mitri­os Loizos, James Boc­ca­lupo, John Sey­mour and George Schmid, all of whom re­spon­ded to an armed rob­bery of a phar­macy dur­ing which po­lice ex­changed gun­fire with the rob­bers.

The crime oc­curred on Feb. 14, 2011, at the CVS, 8525 Frank­ford Ave. Sey­mour and Schmid were first on the scene and told by em­ploy­ees and pat­rons that two gun­men were at the rear of the store steal­ing mer­chand­ise from the phar­macy.

Sey­mour and Schmid evac­u­ated the ci­vil­ians and con­fron­ted the rob­bers, who al­legedly opened fire on the store’s drive-thru win­dow in an ef­fort to cre­ate an av­en­ue of es­cape.

Both rob­bers then climbed out the win­dow, where Loizos spot­ted them. A gun battled en­sued. Mo­ments later, the rob­bers climbed a fence and in­to the rear drive­way of nearby homes, en­coun­ter­ing Snyder and Boc­ca­lupo in the pro­cess. The rob­bers al­legedly fired more shots at those of­ficers, who also re­turned fire.

The rob­bers man­aged to flee and es­cape, des­pite a lengthy search of the area by po­lice.

But dur­ing a sub­sequent in­vest­ig­a­tion in­volving North­east De­tect­ives, po­lice iden­ti­fied three people who al­legedly were in­volved in the heist and ar­res­ted two of them on at­temp­ted murder, as­sault, rob­bery and re­lated charges.

Boc­ca­lupo also was se­lec­ted as Of­ficer of the Month for foil­ing an at­temp­ted burg­lary.

On Dec. 3, he went to the 2800 block of Sebring St. in re­sponse to a re­port of a burg­lary in pro­gress. He saw a man hid­ing in a back yard ad­ja­cent to the tar­geted house. The man had a ham­mer. The of­ficer de­tained him.

Boc­ca­lupo in­spec­ted the tar­geted house and found that win­dow screens had been torn and win­dow frames dam­aged. He ar­res­ted the man for burg­lary and re­lated of­fenses.

The Novem­ber Of­ficers of the Month were El­gin Ro­gers and Ru­fus Rag­land, who cap­tured two al­leged armed rob­bers as they fled the scene of the crime.

Ro­gers and Rag­land were on patrol on Nov. 10 in the area of Knights and Fairdale roads when they saw two males run­ning to­ward Ben­jamin Rush School for an un­known reas­on.

As the of­ficers fol­lowed the men, po­lice ra­dio re­por­ted an armed rob­bery at the nearby Fairdale Phar­macy. The men tried to hide in bushes be­hind the school, but the of­ficers spot­ted them and chased them on foot, cap­tur­ing both.

One of the al­leged rob­bers had 13 bottles of pills, gloves and a hand­gun. The of­ficers then found scis­sors, zip ties and $230 cash in the bushes. Wit­nesses iden­ti­fied both men as the rob­bers.

For in­form­a­tion about the Of­ficer of the Year ban­quet, call the 8th dis­trict at 215-686-3080. ••

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You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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